Zubiri sees 50-50 chance of Senate nod on death penalty revival
MANILA, Philippines — The revival of the death penalty has a “50-50 chance” of passage in the Senate, Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri said Sunday.
Debates on whether the death penalty should be reinstated in the country were revived following the fatal shooting of a mother and son in the hands of a policeman in Tarlac.
Asked about the possibility of a death penalty measure being approved in the upper chamber, Zubiri said: “We are a body that will decide, so kung magkaroon ng botohan I think 50-50 yung chance, pero ‘di po natin haharangin ito kung gusto nila pagdebatehan ito, pwede naman natin pagdebatihan.”
(We are a body that will decide, so if there will be a voting, I think there’s a 50-50 chance, we will not block this if my colleagues want to debate on this, we can.)
Death penalty bills are currently pending at the committee level in the Senate, Zubiri said in an interview over dzBB.
“Ang death penalty kasi napakatindi ng debate nun at medyo emotional ang issue na ‘yan. Of course, ako ay kumakampi sa lahat ng biktima na dapat ang mga gumawa ng mga karumaldumal na krimen ay dapat maparusahan ng matindi,” the senator said.
(Death penalty prompts a heated debate, this is also an emotional issue. Of course, I side with victims that those committing a serious crime should be punished severely.)
He noted that the Senate approved last year a bill that would establish separate prison facility for heinous crime convicts.
This, as he pushed for reforms in the country’s criminal justice system, saying there are still problems that need to be addressed before death penalty can be reinstated.
“Napakadelikado din yun mahatulan ng kamatayan na mali kasi dito sa criminal justice system natin, yan ang problema, napakaraming pang problema,” Zubiri said.
(Sentencing someone to death is really dangerous, considering the state of our criminal justice system, that’s the problem, there are still a lot of problems.)
“Pag pinatay na po kayo, di na kayo pwedeng buhayin muli. Kawawa dito ang masang Pilipino na walang kapangyarihan, wala pong tiyansyang makakuha ng magaling na abogado para depensahan ang sarili nila so yan ang dapat siguro nating ayusin, yung criminal justice system muna,” he added.
(If someone is executed, we cannot bring back that life. Those who will suffer are the people who do not have the power and means to hire a good lawyer to defend themselves, so we should really reform our criminal justice system first.)
During the 17th Congress, the House approved on third and final reading the bill seeking to impose capital punishment on drug-related crimes. However, it did not make progress in the Senate.
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