Cebu rape-slay not basis for revival of death penalty, says ‘Otso’ bets

/ 04:37 PM March 13, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – The brutal murder and suspected rape of a teenager in Lapu-Lapu City recently should not be a ground for the revival of the death penalty, senatorial candidates from the opposition coalition Otso Diretso said on Wednesday.

Marawi civic leader Samira Gutoc and human rights lawyer Chel Diokno, while condoling with the family and urging authorities to bring justice to the bereaved family,  insisted that death penalty is not, and has never been a crime deterrent.


“As a peace advocate, hindi po siya basis for renewal of the death penalty.  Hindi po basehan na may pinapatay na patayin mo rin ang gumagawa.  That is ancient, archaic, and demonic,” Gutoc said during a press briefing in Cubao, Quezon City.

“To the families of the victim, I grieve with you. Hindi po sana nangyari ito, but that should not bring up the animal in us,” she emphasized.


Diokno, who has repeatedly shut down proposals to reinstate the capital punishment, reiterated that it would not solve the issue of heinous crimes.

“Hindi naman po ‘yong pagpataw ng death penalty ang makakatigil sa krimen, ‘yong panigurado na talagang mapaparusahan sila.  Certainty of punishment is what would stop criminals, not the severity,” he explained.

(Death penalty will not stop crime, but the certainty of punishment.)

“Mismo ang Korte Suprema sinabi nila na 70 percent ng nabigyan ng death sentence, mali pala ang trial court,” he added.

(The Supreme Court itself said that 70 percent of death sentences resulted in errors by the trial courts.)

Moves to revive the death penalty mounted after a 16-year-old girl in Lapu Lapu City, Cebu was found lifeless in a vacant  lot, half of her face’s skin peeled to show the skull, and without her undergarments. / gsg

READ: Body of 16-year-old church collector whose face was skinned found in Lapu-Lapu City


Several netizens, especially on micro-blogging site Twitter, are seeking for two things: justice for the victim and for the revival of the death penalty.

Former Solicitor General Florin Hilbay said he could not imagine why there are people who can actually do such acts, but appealed to the public to remain rational about such issues.

“Yung death penalty kasi nagiging short and emotional response doon sa karumal-dumal na nakita.  Of course we condole with the family of the victim […] pero sana rin ‘yong ating maging response do’n sa mga karumaldumal na nangyayari would be something more rational, which is a reform of our justice system,” he noted.

(Death penalty becomes a short and emotional response to heinous crimes witnessed,  but hopefully we react more rationally.)

“Para talagang kung may nagbabalak na gumawa ng masama, magdalawang-isip bago gumawa.  Kahit merong death penalty pero hindi maganda ang sistema ng hustisya, walang takot ‘yong magagawa no’n,” he added.

(So that of a criminal plans to strike, he will think twice.  Even with the death penalty, with a poor justice system, criminals will not be cowed.)

Former president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo signed R.A. 9346 or an Act Prohibiting the Imposition of Death Penalty in the Philippines.

With the law, the capital punishment was reduced to  life imprisonment.

This repealed R.A. 7659 or the Death Penalty Law, which was passed by Congress in 1993.

Under RA 7659, crimes punishable by death include murder, rape, big-time drug trafficking, kidnapping for ransom, treason, piracy, qualified bribery, parricide, infanticide, plunder, kidnapping and serious illegal detention, robbery with violence or intimidation, qualified vehicle theft and arson. / gsg

READ: IN THE KNOW: Death penalty

READ: Netizens want death penalty for ‘monsters’ who killed Grade 9 student from Lapu

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TAGS: “Otso Diretso”, Chel Diokno, Death penalty, Florin Hilbay, Lapu-Lapu city, Philippine news updates, ‎Rape, Samira Gutoc
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