CONVINCED that the rise in the incidents of heinous crimes in the country is proof that the imposition of life imprisonment failed to deter criminality, deputy minority leader Vicente Sotto 3rd, is now pushing for the reinstatement of the death penalty, a move that may put him on a collision course with the Church.
In filing Senate Bill 2080 or an act imposing death penalty in the Philippines, Sotto noted that the penalty of death is appropriately necessary “due to the alarming upsurge of such crimes which has resulted not only in the loss of human lives and wanton destruction of property but also affected the nation’s efforts towards sustainable economic development and prosperity.
Sotto said that while the Philippine constitution bars the imposition of excessive, cruel, degrading and inhumane punishment including death penalty, the constitution also allows such penalty as long as there is compelling reason involving heinous crimes.
The deputy minority leader noted the the measure reimposing death penalty for heinous crimes was passed during the 10th congress because of compelling reasons and he believes that the influx of heinous crimes at present is enough reason for congress to repeal Republic Act No. 9346 otherwise known as “An act prohibiting the imposition of Death Penalty in the Philippines”.
“Life imprisonment does not deter crimes but with death penalty there is a big chance because when you look at the definition of death in the dictionary the meaning of the death is also to inhibit,” Sotto explained.
He added that by inhibiting someone who committed a heinous crime, it means that you prevent him or her from committing the same crime again.
Sotto insisted that the peace and order situation in the country is very alarming and even cited the case of a six-year-old girl who was killed after being sexually abused by a pedicab driver who claimed to be under the influence of illegal substance.
According to Sotto the incident is just one of the many heinous crimes given special attention by the media and there are many equally shocking crimes that were not reported in the news.
He insisted that the re imposition of the death penalty would not only instill fear in criminals but would also prevent those already convicted from doing the same crime again.
Sotto however maintained being pro-life but only for the unborn and the Filipino family and not for the heinous criminals.
“I’m prolife as far as the unborn and the filipino family is cocnerned but I am pro-death for heinous criminals,” he added.
Senators Jinggoy Estrada and JV Ejercito have expressed openness over Sotto’s proposal for as long as it will be for heinous crimes.
Estrada, who is currently facing plunder raps before the Office of the Ombudsman, is convinced that peace and order situation in the country is getting worse and it is time to consider the imposition of the death penalty.
Ejercito expressed belief that imposing extreme punishment to criminals could help deter heinous crimes and since the country already experienced what it is like without death penalty, it is time to consider its reinstatement.
“It’s a very controversial issue, but It’s hard to have peace and order if criminals always get away with it,” he added.
Senators Nancy Binay, Cynthia Villar, Antonio Trillanes 4th, Bam Aquino, and Pia Cayetano on the other hand expressed opposition over the proposal noting that there are other ways to stop the influx of crimes in the country. Jefferson Antiporda