Pacquiao: ‘Drug traffickers deserve death penalty’
Neophyte Senator Manny Pacquiao on Tuesday pushed for the passage of the proposed imposition of the death penalty for certain dangerous drugs crimes, citing the “immensity of the drug problem” in the country.
“Drug traffickers are aggressive. They take advantage of our vulnerabilities, but various news reports reveal that we are not taking this without a fight,” Pacquiao said during the hearing of the Senate committees on justice and human rights, and on constitutional amendments and revision of codes.
“We cannot ignore the immensity of the drug problem in our country. We cannot maintain the status quo. We need to take a firm stand against drug traffickers.”
“On a personal level, I can forgive. However, the heinous crime of drug trafficking is committed not just against a person but against the nation. Drug traffickers deserve death penalty,” he said.
Pacquiao is author of Senate Bill No. 185 known as “An act to impose the death penalty and increase penalty on certain dangerous drugs crimes, and two other measures , one imposing death penalty on heinous crime of kidnapping, and another on the heinous crime of aggravated rape.”
Aside from Pacquiao, other senators who filed a similar measure like Senate Majority Leader Vicente “Tito” Sotto III, and Senator Panfilo Lacson were also present during the hearing.
Although he earlier expressed his opposition to the measure, Senator Richard Gordon, chair of the justice committee, said all senators present in the hearing were “neutral” on the issue.
“All the senators are neutral, including the chairman,” Gordon said, “According to Sen. Lacson, we are supposed to be neutral…for the moment.”
While he was one of the senators advocating the imposition of the death penalty on drug cases, Sotto said he would still want to listen to the arguments of both sides.
“I’m here to listen. I want to listen to the resource persons. I want to be convinced by both sides. Because they might have something new,” he said.
Lacson and Senate President Pro Tempore Franklin Drilon, echoed Sotto’s statement.
“Same thing. While I’m one of the authors… I’m willing to listen. As they say, only fools don’t change their minds so kindly convince us either way,” Lacson said.
Drilon, who is openly against the measure, said he was also willing to listen although he pointed out that he was Senate President when the chamber rejected the reimposition of the death penalty in 2006./rga
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