Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC) senatorial bet Win Gatchalian is inclined to push for the reimposition of the death penalty for big-time drug traffickers who will be found guilty of illicit drug trade.
“The series of raids conducted inside the New Bilibid Prisons have shown that big-time drug dealers continue to ply their trade and that prison conditions have been most favorable to them since they no longer fear getting arrested,” said Gatchalian, who vows to file a bill for the reimposition of the death penalty should he win a seat in the Senate.
Gatchalian noted that convicted drug lords who were found guilty of selling millions of pesos worth of metamphetamine hydrochloride (more popularly known as shabu or poor man’s cocaine) are making a mockery of the justice system with their lavish lifestyles inside the NBP complete with electronic and communications gadgets as well as high-powered firearms.
“Obviously, these convicted drug lords are able to bribe corrupt jails since they are serving life sentence which only carries a maximum of 30 years imprisonment. I firmly believed that if death penalty on big-time drug traffickers will serve as a deterrent and will lessen if not totally eradicate the drug problem in our country,” explained Gatchalian.
Gatchalian’s pro-death penalty position for big-time drug dealers is shared by 59 percent of Filipinos based on the survey conducted by the Social Weather Station (SWS) last Feb. 16.
Gatchalian, an exclusive senatorial bet to Partido Galing at Puso (PGP) standard bearer Grace Poe and running mate Chiz Escudero, had earlier called for the restoration of the death penalty for convicted pedophiles, particularly those engaged in torture and sexual assault of children as well as child pornography.
“It’s about time that Congress re-examine the death penalty in the light of reports on the gravity of pedophilia operations in the country. Convicted pedophiles deserve the death penalty because of their dastardly acts against Filipino children,” said Gatchalian.
It was during the Ramos administration that death penalty was reimposed by virtue of Republic Act No. 7659 which was enacted in Dec. 1993 to address the rising criminality and incidence of heinous crimes.
The Death Penalty Law lists a total of 46 crimes punishable by death; 25 of these are death mandatory while 21 are death eligible. Republic Act No. 8177 mandates that a death sentence shall be carried out through lethal injection.
The Death Penalty Law was repealed during the time of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo with the passage of Republic Act No. 9346, which prohibited the imposition of the death penalty in the Philippines. It was signed into law on June 24, 2006. (R. Burgos)