Sotto counts at least 13 senators voting for restoration of death penalty
MANILA, Philippines— Passing the proposed death penalty in the new Senate could be a “squeaker” but Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto II, nevertheless, believes it could be done somehow.
During his State of the Nation Address (Sona) on Monday, President Rodrigo Duterte made another push for the restoration of the death penalty for heinous crimes related to illegal drugs as well as plunder.
“Palagay ko squeaker pero kaya. Kumbaga sa mga 13, 14 kakayanin. Kung high level drug trafficking lang ha,” Sotto said when asked over DZMM the chances of passing the bill in the Senate.
But what if plunder would be included as proposed by the President?
“Ay idadamay na yun (plunder). Syempre kung talagang ipapasok ang plunder at hindi naman magandang umayaw ka dito, kasama na rin sa squeaker yan, 13-14 baka kayanin sa Senado,” Sotto stressed.
He surmised however that Duterte included plunder so lawmakers would support it or risk being accused that they are against it out of fear.
“Kaya sasangayon ako dun,” the Senate leader said. “Although sa akin personally, high level drug trafficking.”
Sotto believes that some of his colleagues, who are against the death penalty, like Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III have started to accept his argument that his proposed capital punishment for high level drug trafficking is not anti-poor.
Sotto argues that no drug lords are poor. The same argument, he said, can be used for plunderers.
“Nag plunder ka so syempre hindi ka na mahirap,” Sotto said.
“Kaya kami sa Kongreso, pangit na umayaw kami sa plunder. Dapat isama namin sa death penalty,” he added. /muf