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Makabayan solons: Revival of death penalty will not deter crimes

Progressive lawmakers have scoffed at President Duterte’s push for the revival of the death penalty, saying that it will not deter the rising incidence of crimes in the country.

Bayan Muna partylist Rep. Carlos Isagani Zarate (Bayan Muna Partylist / FACEBOOK / MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)

House Deputy Minority leader and Bayan Muna partylist Rep. Carlos Isagani Zarate said ACT Teachers partylist Rep. France Castro thumbed down the Chief Executive’s call for Congress to fast track the approval of a bill that would breathe life into the capital punishment by lethal injection for crimes specified under Comprehensive Dangerous Act of 2002.

“The revival of the death penalty as a deterrent to crimes, especially those related to drugs is a sham claim, especially coming from an administration that already launched a bloody anti-drug campaign, and, yet, until now drugs is still a brisk and lucrative business in the country today,” Zarate said in a statement.

“Five years into the Duterte presidency, yet, impunity and tyranny continue to be its hallmarks,” he said.

He said the President is covering up his administration’s poor human rights record by saying that illegal drugs trade, terrorism and even criminality is a form of human rights.

“Talagang iniba nya (He totally changed it), binaligtad na nya ngayon (he reversed it now), para pagtakpan ang malawakang paglabag sa karapatang pantao ng kasalukuyang administrasyon (just to cover up the massive human rights violations by this current administration), especially in relation to campaign against drugs, sa (in their) counter-insurgency campaign nila , sa giyera sa Marawi (the war in Marawi), at (and) Mindanao,” Zarate said.

“Pinagmamalaki pa ni Pangulo na (The President is bragging that) they were extolled by the UN sa (with respect to) child labor exploitation during the UN (United Nations)  Human rights Council session. Hindi nya binanggit duon (He did not mention there) na maraming bansa (that there are many countries), even the Office of the High Comissioner on Human rights ay tinuligsa ang (condemned the) human rights record ng Duterte administration at nananawagan na ibasura ang  (and called for the junking of the) Anti-Terror Law,” he added.

In his fifth State-of-the-Nation Address, President Duterte reiterated the need for Congress to pass the death penalty law “not only help us deter criminality, but also save our children from the dangers posed by the illegal and dangerous drugs.”

Castro criticized Duterte for resuscitating an “anti-people” policy.

“Hindi ako sang- ayon sa death penalty (I do not agree with death penalty). Una, hindi maayos ang justice system (First, we do not have fair justice system), nasa level of impunity ang mga EJK (extra judicial killings) at violations of human rights (there is level of impunity for EJK and human rights violations).May international commitment tayo na hindi tayo magpataw ng death penalty (We also have international commitment that we will not impose death penalty.)

It was in 1993 that the capital punishment was revived during the Ramos administration, but President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo abolished it in 2016.

Read more: Duterte bats for death penalty

Source: Manila Bulletin (

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