Poe still says no to ‘popular’ death penalty bill
MANILA, Philippines – Senator Grace Poe said she still is not ready to support the proposed reimposition of the death penalty being pushed and pursued by Senate allies of President Duterte.
“Sabi ko nga, popular ngayon ang death penalty sapagkat maraming kaalyado ang ating Pangulo. Ako naman ‘pag sa tingin ko makakatulong, sumasama naman din ako sa kanilang mga adhikain (The death penalty bill is popular because the President has many allies in Congress. I will join their advocacies if I believe they will be helpful),” she said over DZMM on Wednesday.
“Kaya lang, ang problema ko sa death penalty ang ating hudikatura, ‘yung judicial system natin overburdened, ibig sabihin talagang grabe ang daming nakatambak na mga kaso; ‘yung mga mahihirap hindi makakuha ng mga maayos na abogado o representasyon kaya kahit na nga sa mga datos ng mga nakakulong at ‘yung mga nabibiktima rin, mas maraming mahihirap,” said Poe.
(The problem with the death penalty is our justice system which is overburdened with cases; the poor will cannot hire competent lawyers, data also shows that most of the individuals in jails are poor)
“So unless maayos natin ang judicial system natin, hindi po ako papayag yata—ako personal—mukhang hindi ko masusuportahan ang death penalty sa ngayon (Unless the judicial system’s problems and issues are addressed, I do not think I can support the death penalty bill),” she added.
Duterte himself prodded Congress, during his fourth State of the Nation Address last July 22, to reinstate the capital punishment for heinous crimes related to drugs and plunder.
But even before he made the call, several senators have already filed death penalty bills, including Senators Panfilo Lacson, Manny Pacquiao, Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa and Christopher “Bong” Go.
Senate President Vicente Sotto III, said he will support the death penalty bill for high- level drug traffickers.
He added that the bill could draw the support of the majority or at least 13 of the 24 senators. /gsg
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