Pimentel open to support death penalty only on ‘most heinous’ crime
Senate President Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III said he is open to support the proposed death penalty if it would be imposed only on the “most heinous” crime and if it becomes the official stand of the ruling political group, Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban).
“Flexible ako sa death penalty. My initial resistance to the death penalty is not based on religion, it’s just policy. Death penalty is a policy or a weapon or a tool of the State to control criminality and to impose law and order. Hindi naman based on religion yung aking stand e so I can change my mind,” Pimentel told reporters on Wednesday.
And if the PDP-Laban decides to support the death penalty, then the Senate leader said he would toe the line.
Pimentel is president of PDP-Laban and its only other member in the Senate is Senator Emmanuel “Manny” Pacquiao, who is one of the authors of the death penalty bills. He said PDP-Laban has 110 members in the House of Representatives.
The Senate leader also noted that a number of high-ranking party officials, including its chairman, President Rodrigo Duterte; its secretary general, Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez; and other members like Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II are supportive of the proposal.
“So looks like it can easily be made a party-stand,” he said.
Pimentel said party members, who would defy its official stand on the issue, should be given some disciplinary actions.
Asked then if he would vote for the death penalty if the party decides to support it, the Senate leader said: “Oo pero wala pa tayo sa detaleye.”
He reiterated though that the capital punishment should only be imposed on the “most heinous crime,” which Congress has yet to determine.
Asked again what would convince him to vote for the restoration of the death penalty, Pimentel said: “If it’s needed by the times, I’m very open to do it but it must be very narrow, or it must be imposed only on the most heinous of all crimes as of the moment.”
At least 10 senators have, so far, expressed their opposition to the reimposition of the death penalty. RAM
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