Sotto: Life imprisonment does not work; restore death penalty
MANILA, Philippines—In his bid to restore the death penalty, Senator Vicente Sotto III said that the life imprisonment meted to high-profile drug traffickers in the country “does not work.”
In an interview with Inquirer Radio 990 AM, Sotto said that drug offenders serving life sentences in prisons can still resume their operations.
“There are cottages in Muntinlupa, refrigerator units, golf carts, there are visitors, [imprisoned] drug traffickers can still carry on with their operations using cellular phones,” Sotto said.
Sotto said he is pushing for the return of the death penalty for two cases, high scale drug trafficking and rape with murder.
The senator said that, according to the data he received from his contacts at the International Narcotics Enforcement Officers Association, high-scale drug traffickers are using the Philippines as a “playground” in their operations.
He said that international drug-traffickers cannot do their operations in other Asian countries like Singapore, Malaysia and China which adopted stern death penalty for illegal drug offenders
“It’s clearly seen in the evidence; these people are toying with us and continuing with their operations,” Sotto said.
He added that for other offenses, the rehabilitation of the perpetrators can suffice, which the international human rights group Amnesty International and various religious groups are pushing for.
“Other criminals can be rehabilitated, that is the point of Amnesty International and the religious groups,” Sotto said. “But how can you rehabilitate the criminal who has done a bastard’s act.”
Sotto cited the case of the six-year-old girl who was raped, murdered and eventually dumped in Paco, Manila on Jan. 20.
The death penalty was suspended during the administration of then president and current Manila Mayor Joseph Ejercito Estrada and was repealed in the 13th Congress during the term of then president and now Pampanga Representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
Sotto said he has high hopes that his fellow senators will support his cause and he is looking forward to their debates whether to return the death penalty.
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