The death penalty is a” band-aid solution being applied to a gravely ill patient in the emergency room,” according to House Senior Deputy Minority leader and Buhay party-list group Rep. Lito Atienza.
“Our criminal justice system is like a very sick patient that needs immediate surgical treatment. If we are to save the patient, we have to cut off the rampant tumor of corruption. A simple band-aid solution such as the death penalty won’t work,” Atienza said in a statement on Monday.
“Both the Senate inquiry into extrajudicial killings and the House probe on the illegal drug trade in the New Bilibid Prisons have clearly demonstrated that the pillars of our criminal justice system — from law enforcement to corrections — have been overwhelmed by corruption,” he added.
“The real problem is clearly corruption. The problem is not with the penalty, or the severity of the punishment for crime,” Atienza pointed out.
The opposition lawmaker made the statement shortly after the House Committee on Justice’s sub-committee on judicial reforms approved a bill reviving the death penalty for heinous crimes.
Atienza accused the House majority of laying the groundwork for the “railroading” of the bill’s passage.
“They are trying to bulldoze the passage of the bill because the Speaker already assured President Rodrigo Duterte that the House will send the bill to the Senate before the Christmas break,” he said.
Duterte earlier said he wants to put to death at least 50 convicts every month.