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Gov’t officials push for reinstatement of death penalty following the Tarlac killing

By PhilSTAR L!fe Published Dec 22, 2020 5:51 am

Some government officials are now pushing to reinstate death penalty in the country after the shooting incident in Paniqui, Tarlac where a policeman gunned down two civilians in broad daylight.

"Yung ginawa ng pulis na cold-blooded killing is double murder and a heinous crime na dapat ang parusa ay death penalty pero hanggang ngayon hirap na hirap pa ring umusad ‘yung in-author kong death penalty bill,” said Sen. Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa.

Dela Rosa said the measure will be a good way to put a stop to the killings in the country. “Sino pa ang gustong pumatay ng tao kung alam niyang papatayin din siya via death penalty?”

Sen. Ramon “Bong” Revilla, Jr. also said the incident is a “compelling case for the reinstitution of the death penalty.”

Senator Manny Pacquiao—who has long been for the revival of death penalty—also reiterated his support. "Dahil sa tingin ko, ito na lang ang kulang upang maging mabilis at epektibo ang ating pagbibigay ng hustisya sa ating kababayang biktima ng heinous crimes," he said.

Police Senior Master Sgt. Jonel Nuezca gunned down Sonya Gregorio and her son Frank Gregorio on Sunday Dec. 20 after confronting the family over the noise from their use of a firecracker named boga.

Nuezca surrendered to the local police station in Rosales, Pangasinan an hour after the incident. 

The Philippine National Police (PNP) also expressed support for capital punishment.

In a press briefing, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said that reinstating the death penalty has always been a priority for President Rodrigo Duterte, but the decision would still depend on the lawmakers.

At present, four death penalty bills are filed in the Senate.

The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) has “resolutely opposed the death penalty and reimposition."

"We are strongly advocating against the death penalty bills tabled in Congress, and we have released advisories and research studies advising government of its treaty obligation,” CHR said.

The CHR said they are, however, open to helping government officials “in working towards a functional, unbiased, efficient justice system that guarantees certainty of punishment for perpetrators and respects the rights of all – defendants, victims and witnesses, through due process and rule of law.” 

Gabriela Women's Party Representative Arlene Brosas, of the Makabayan bloc, has also opposed the return of capital punishment, saying they are “firm in our stand that the defects of our judicial and legal processes that enable impunity cannot be cured by the re-imposition of the death penalty." 

For Atty. Ted Te, it’s “not a reason to reinstate the death penalty. Not now, not ever.”

Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri is proposing a different approach: to build jail facilities or Alcatraz-type prisons solely for heinous crime convicts. “Itong mga kulungan na ito ay isolated na walang cell phone signal at wifi at ang mga inmates ay nasa isolation cells para hindi maka-organize at mag-plano nang mga masasamang balak sa loob nang kulungan,” he explained. “A life in isolation is a fitting punishment to these murderers, drug lords, rapists and plunderers.”

Article thumbnails from Dela Rosa and Revilla's official pages