No longer for death penalty: Lacson says Netflix show changed his beliefs | Inquirer News

No longer for death penalty: Lacson says Netflix show changed his beliefs

/ 01:56 PM November 04, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Senator Panfilo Lacson now says that if he is elected president in the 2022 national elections, he will no longer push for the death penalty despite previous statements advocating for the reinstitution of capital punishment.


Asked about how his opinion about the death penalty changed, Lacson attributed this to a movie on streaming site Netflix, which talked about an activist who set himself up for a crime just to prove that innocent people could be punished.

He says that his running mate, Senate President Vicente Sotto III, also shares his views.


“In the course nagbago ang kanyang (Sotto) pananaw.  Ako gano’n rin, I’m also a convert.  Alam niyo ba, napanood niyo ba sa Netflix ‘yong ‘The Life of David Gayle’?  Napanood ko ‘yon eh, ‘yon aktibista ‘yon na kung saan sinet-up niya ‘yong sarili niya,” Lacson told reporters in a media forum on Thursday.

“Hindi siya ‘yong pumatay pero sinet-up niya para mai-prove lang na ‘yong innocent man could be executed,” he explained.

Lacson admitted that in the past, he has been a stern advocate of the death penalty for certain crimes like plunder, high-level drug trafficking, law enforcers proven guilty for planting evidence, and other heinous crimes.

A quick browse on search engines using the keywords ‘Lacson’ and ‘death penalty’ would show numerous articles about the Senator advocating for capital punishment.

READ: Lacson mulls ‘high volume threshold’ in death penalty for drug trafficking 

READ: Death penalty for law enforcers who plant evidence – Lacson 

READ: Lacson files measure reinstituting death penalty for heinous crimes 


But the Netflix show changed it all, Lacson claimed, who is now saying that saving the life of a wrongly accused person is more important than executing a criminal.

“‘Yon ang nakapagpabago ng aking attitude, ng aking pananaw, at ng aking perspective tungkol sa death penalty.  Ako nag-author din ako, ilang beses kong infinile, isinama ko pa nga ‘yong plunder at saka ‘yong iba’t-ibang krimen bilang heinous crimes, dapat maging punishable ng death penalty,” he explained.

“But then no’ng namulat ‘yong aking kaisipan na mas importante na ma-save ‘yong buhay ng isang inosente na na-convict que sa doon sa mag-execute tayo ng talagang convicted at talagang napatunayang talagang nagkasala.  No’ng tinimbang ko ‘yon, sa tingin ko mas matimbang ‘yong ma-save ‘yong buhay ng wrongly convicted,” he added.

Sotto on the other hand said that he is no longer seeking the death penalty as well, as they have found better solutions to crime rate problems.

“I found a better solution eh.  When I first became a Senator in 1992, one of the first bills that I filed was the reimposition of the death penalty kasi no’ng 1987 Constitution inalis ‘yon,” Sotto stressed.

“Later on, maganda ‘yong mga posisyon ko ‘don.  Pero maganda rin ‘yong mga posisyon nila eh, ‘yong mga kumo-kontra.  Alam mo kapag inisip mo nang mabut tama sila eh, except for high-level drug trafficking, tama sila in most of the reasonings that they were using,” he added.

Death penalty has been disallowed by the 1987 Constitution unless for compelling reasons like heinous crimes.  But just years after the new constitution, there was a strong push for the punishment’s restoration due to increasing crime rates.

It was successfully re-established by the administration of former president Fidel Ramos, and was implemented by his successor, former president Joseph Estrada.  Convicted rapist Leo Echegaray was the first to receive the death penalty, being executed via lethal injection last February 1999.

READ: What Went Before: Death Penalty Law 

READ: IN THE KNOW: Death penalty 


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TAGS: Capital Punishment, Death penalty, Philippine news updates, Senate, Senate President Vicente Sotto III, Senator Panfilo Lacson
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