Duterte renews push for death penalty on drug-related crimes
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte has made another push for the reimposition of the death penalty in the Philippines.
In his fourth State of the Nation Address (Sona) on Monday, Duterte recounted the May 2017 Marawi City siege carried out by the Maute terrorist group: “Tons of shabu worth millions of pesos, drug money, killed 175 and wounded 2,000 and one of my soldiers and policemen in that five-month battle.”
“I am aware that we still have a long way to go against this social menace. Let (it be) the reason why I advocate the imposition of the death penalty for crimes related to illegal drugs,” he said.
The President also called on Congress to include plunder among crimes punishable by death.
“My countrymen, it is a sad commentary that we cannot distinguish our need from our greed; our principles from our prejudices; the real from fake; and the truth from a lie,” Duterte said.
“The reason is because many of us, what matters above all is the ‘self.’ It is selfishness [at] its worst for no purpose other than personal aggrandizement,” he added.
Duterte has earlier expressed openness to revive the death penalty, which the country suspended in 2006, for drug trafficking and other heinous crimes, noting that it will instill fear among criminals.
With the current composition of Congress – with more Duterte allies sitting in the Senate, which previously blocked the measure, the administration thinks it could be easier to pass the death penalty bill. /kga
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