Death penalty requires judicial reforms first, says Poe
MANILA, Philippines—Reviving the death penalty without judicial reforms would send the innocent to their deaths, which would be the opposite of efforts to save lives during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Sen. Grace Poe.
In a statement on Tuesday (July 28), Poe said the country has gone to “great lengths” in saving lives and preventing deaths in the fight against the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
“We must also protect the lives of the defenseless and disadvantaged from the peril of injustice,” she said.
The senator added that without reforms in the country’s judiciary, the capital punishment will unfairly target the poor.
“Without the needed reforms in our justice system, the innocent poor with scant resources to wage a decent defense in court will be the ones at risk in any attempt to revive the death penalty in the country,” she said.
Poe reaffirmed her position on the issue after President Rodrigo Duterte, during his fifth State of the Nation Address, renewed a call to revive the death penalty and defined its mode of execution as lethal injection.
Neophyte Sen. Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa, a trusted ally of Duterte, said he was “happy” about the President’s renewed appeal to lawmakers to bring back the death penalty to life.
Duterte’s call for the revival of the death penalty will “boost” its chances of approval in Congress, said Dela Rosa, Duterte’s first national police chief and architect of the controversial Oplan Tokhang which is being blamed for hundreds of extrajudicial killings.
Sen. Panfilo Lacson, a former national police chief, too, however, said that while he personally supported the revival of capital punishment, he believed it faced “very rough sailing” in the Senate, a deliberative body.
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