Senator backs limited death penalty law

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BAMBANG, Nueva Vizcaya: Senator Cynthia Villar has expressed conditional support to the reimposition of the death penalty law during her visit on Sunday here.

Villar, part of the Senate majority bloc, said she would support the bill if the imposition of the capital punishment was limited to drug lords or drug traffickers.

“If the crime is related to the drug trade and heineous crimes, I will support death penalty,” she added.

The senator visited this town to attend the general assembly of the Saint Catherine’s Parish Credit Cooperative here that was awarded recently as outstanding credit cooperative by the Villar Foundation.

She said she is yet to read the House version of the bill.

“I’m very sure if it would be about drug trafficking, it’s okay with me,” according to Villar.

She has maintained her position despite calls made by party-list group Buhay to reject the bill on the reimposition of capital punishment even if for drug-related offenses only.

Buhay party-list Rep. Lito Atienza on Saturday asked the Senate to dump the revival of the death penalty because the restoration of capital punishment is an utter waste of time and taxpayers’ money.

Atienza believes there would most likely be no judicial executions during the term of President Rodrigo Duterte even if Congress approved the measure.

He said they will continue to challenge the constitutionality of the death penalty bill before the Supreme Court.

“The case will take years to resolve. Assuming the High Court would uphold its constitutionality, it will take more years to convict a single offender. Once there is a conviction, the appeal process follows. By that time, President Duterte will no longer be in office,” Atienza noted.

He said Congress should instead reform the justice system and just “focus on suppressing crime by stamping out rampant corruption, which is really the problem besetting law enforcement, prosecution service, judiciary and our prisons.”

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