A lost cause: Marcos administration won’t push for death penalty, says Zubiri
MANILA, Philippines — The administration of President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. will not push for measures seeking the death penalty, Senate President Pro Tempore Juan Miguel Zubiri said on Wednesday.
The issue of the revival of capital punishment surfaced after Senator Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa refiled his bill seeking the reimposition of capital punishment specifically targeting large-scale illegal drug traffickers.
In an ambush interview at the Senate, Zubiri was asked what his limitations were in approving bills.
“For example, death penalty, which I know hindi naman itutulak nitong administration na ito because I already asked the higher-ups, hindi naman nila i-prioritize ito,” he replied.
(For example, the death penalty, which I know the current administration will not push for because I already asked the higher-ups, and they said they would not prioritize it.)
READ: Most Pinoys buck death penalty – study
“But for me, for example, [a] big no-no for me na isu-support (to support it). I will not support, for example, the death penalty or any bills that will infringe on the human rights of the innocent. Anti-abortion din ako (I’m also anti-abortion). I will not agree on abortion measures,” he added, noting that he is a devout Catholic.
Despite his reservations, Zubiri assured that he would comply with the legislative process and allow the issues to be up for debate as the Senate is a collegial body.
“For example, alam ko si Senator Risa (Hontiveros) would want to focus on this [abortion]. Then we will give her — again, as part of traditions and culture in the Senate — bibigyan natin ng pagkakataon, for example, Senator Risa na ipag-debate ito sa plenaryo and pagbotohan. Hindi po tayo mag-obstruct nitong mga measures na ito,” the senator said.
(For example, I know Senator Risa would want to focus on this, then we will give her — again, as part of traditions and culture in the Senate — we will give her a chance to debate in the plenary and vote for it. We will not obstruct these measures.)
“At the end of the day, botohan na lang natin na kung manalo siya (let us vote for it if she wins), and I lose my vote, then so be it,” he continued.
(At the end of the day, let’s bring this to a vote. If she wins and I lose, then so be it.)
Hontiveros has been actively pushing for decriminalizing abortion and legalizing divorce but is against the reinstatement of capital punishment.
Earlier, dela Rosa said he had high hopes the measure would be passed this time with Senator Francis Tolentino as chairman of the Senate committee on justice and human rights, which tackles such measures, adding that Tolentino is “not anti-death penalty.”
Death penalty will not solve COVID-19 crisis — Hontiveros
Bato dela Rosa sees death penalty bill OK with Tolentino helming Senate justice panel
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.