Speaker not fussy about death penalty method
Speaker Pantaleon “Bebot” Alvarez on Tuesday said he would not mind hanging as a method of death penalty on people convicted of heinous crimes.
“Parehong death yan. Hindi na natin dapat pagtalunan niyan kung by hanging, firing squad, or lethal injection. Parehong patay yan,” Alvarez said in an interview after his meeting with Senate President Koko Pimentel at Edsa Shangri-La Hotel on Tuesday.
(It’s all death penalty. We don’t need to discuss if it will happen by hanging, firing squad or administering lethal injection. It will all lead to death.)
Alvarez was asked for his reaction to the privilege speech of Senator Manny Pacquiao, who during interpellation said death by hanging by kicking the chair supporting the convict is the cheapest way to implement capital punishment.
“Okay lang sa akin ‘yun, wala akong problema dun. Sabi nga ni Senator Pacquiao, mas mura sisipain lang ‘yung upuan,” Alvarez said.
(I have no issues there. As Senator Pacquiao said, it will be more convenient if we just kick the chair.)
Alvarez said his proposal to revive the death penalty filed in the House of Representatives did not give a specific method of implementing death penalty.
“Proposal ko, walang (method), basta restoration of death penalty lang (My proposal did not include a method, as long as the death penalty is restored),” Alvarez said.
Asked about the criticism that President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs has targeted the poor, Alvarez downplayed the number of people killed compared to the thousands of drug users who surrendered.
“Libo-libo na ang mahihirap na sumurrender all over the country. Six hundred thousand. Ilan ang namatay? Kakaunti lang ‘yun kung percentage-wise dun sa nag-surrender. I think that is a very unfair statement,” Alvarez said.
(Thousands of poor all over the country have surrendered. Six hundred thousand. How many of them were killed? They are quite a few percentage-wise compared with those who surrendered.)
Alvarez filed the bill seeking to reimpose the death penalty after former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo abolished capital punishment in 2006.
Alvarez filed the bill to reinstate death penalty pursuant to Duterte’s campaign promise to return capital punishment against heinous criminals.
Alvarez’s bill sought to reimpose death penalty on heinous crimes listed under Republic Act 7659, including murder, plunder, rape, kidnapping and serious illegal detention, sale, use and possession of illegal drugs, carnapping with homicide, among others.
In the bill he co-authored with Deputy Speaker Capiz Rep. Fredenil Castro, Alvarez said there is a need to reimpose the death penalty because “the national crime rate has grown to such alarming proportions requiring an all-out offensive against all forms of felonious acts.”
“Philippine society is left with no option but to deal with certain grievous offenders in a manner commensurate to the gravity, perversity, atrociousness and repugnance of their crimes,” according to the bill. IDL/rga
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