Ejercito to heed people’s will favoring death penalty
Senator Joseph Victor “JV” Ejercito on Thursday vowed to follow the will of the people favoring the death penalty even as he admitted that majority of the senators are against it now.
“Being a representative of the people, I have to follow their will. Survey says 60% of the Filipinos favor death penalty,” Ejercito, a member of the Senate majority bloc, said in a statement.
“Admittedly, lamang ang anti death penalty sa ngayon because of the lady legislators and LP (Liberal Party). But we will fight for what is right and put an end to this drug menace.”
“The Philippines became the hub for international drug trade because we are the only country in Asean that repealed death penalty,” Ejercito added.
The senator was reacting to the latest Social Weather Stations survey conducted from March 25 to 28 which showed that 61 percent of respondents or three out of five Filipinos favor the reimposition of the death penalty for drug-related crimes.
But Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon believes that the survey was “mere a reflection of the people’s frustration over a poor justice system rather than an endorsement of the proposal to reimpose the death penalty.”
“We are confident that the survey will not affect the position of majority of senators who have declared their opposition against the death penalty out of principles,” he said in a text message to reporters.
Drilon earlier claimed that the death penalty bill was already dead in the Senate with 13 senators likely to vote against it.
Despite the results of the survey, Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan vowed to continue to oppose the reimposition of the death penalty even if their position was unpopular to the people.
“When we voted against the death penalty in 2006 we did so not because it was the popular thing to do but because we believed it was the right thing to do,” Pangilinan, president of LP, said in a separate text message.
“We will continue to oppose the reimposition of the death penalty even if it is unpopular because we believe it is not the solution to addressing criminality as the administration would like us to believe,” he aded.
Drilon, vice chair of LP, and Pangilinan belong to the six-man minority group in the Senate which is opposing the death penalty bill.
Aside from Drilon and Pangilinan, the four other minority members who are against the measure are Senators Bam Aquino, Leila de Lima, Risa Hontiveros and Antonio Trillanes IV. CBB/rga
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