“I believe in retribution. Why? You should pay. When you kill someone, rape, you should die,” said President Rodrigo Duterte in his speech in Davao City on June 27, 2016.
It seems that President Duterte will really restore death penalty after its abolition on June 24, 2006 via Republic Act 9346 signed by President Arroyo. It will be noted that even before the Philippine election campaign, presidential candidate Rodrigo Duterte was already vocal in his favor of death penalty.
“Drug addiction is easy money. Once you get it, it’s a done deal, you’re already into eternal addiction. I will not hesitate to use the military and the police and maybe, exercise the extraordinary power of the President to stop it,” Duterte said in his regular Sunday TV talk show on December 27, 2015.
“I will recommend to Congress the restoration of death penalty by hanging in public,” he added.
What is Death Penalty?
According to Merriam Webster, death penalty, also called capital punishment, is the execution imposed in a court of law as punishment for a crime.
There are many methods of death penalty: firing squad, hanging, lethal injection, electrocution, gas chamber and decapitation (garrotte).
History of Death Penalty in the Philippines
- Pre-Spanish: favored decapitation and hanging
- Spanish Era: favored death by firing squad, garrotte and hanging
- American Period: (1962) introduced electric chair, making the Philippines the only other country to employ this method.
- Manuel Quezon: no execution happened
- Ferdinand Marcos: (1965) favored death by firing squad, (1976) used electric chair
- Corazon Aquino: (1987 Constitution) prohibited the death penalty –made the Philippines the first Asian country to abolish capital punishment.
- Fidel Ramos: restored capital punishment by defining ‘heinous crimes’ as everything from murder to stealing a car.
- Joseph Estrada: favored death by lethal injection
- Gloria Arroyo: vocal opponent of death penalty, approved moratorium (temporary prohibition), but later permitted executions and denied pardons, signed Republic Act No. 9346 which suspended death penalty in the Philippines.
- Benigno Aquino III: continued suspension of death penalty.
Why the Philippines Needs to Restore Death Penalty
Is death penalty right or wrong? Moral or immoral? Well, I would say it varies on the person’s opinion but here is my stand why the Philippines needs to restore death penalty:
1. Crimes are terribly increasing. Killings are everywhere. Almost everyday from 2012-2014, there is a news report about murder and rape. This is probably the reason why more than 16M Filipinos voted for Rodrigo Duterte.
Filipinos elected President Duterte because he is the only candidate with political will and plan to suppress drugs, criminality and corruption. I mean not just plans, he has track record to prove it.
And who would you rather be killed, innocent people or the criminals? By looking at the election results, Filipinos decided that criminals rather be killed.
2. We should start cleaning the Philippines. In order for change to be felt by the poorest Filipinos, the cleaning should not just happen in the government. Yes corruption must stop, but we should also stop the criminals from disturbing and affecting the lives of the innocent Filipino citizens.
Let the good Filipino citizens live harmoniously, at the same time, we must eradicate the criminals in preparation for a better Philippines. Proven rapists, murderers and drug traffickers should be executed. In this way, good and productive citizens will flourish.
3. The Philippines is a developing country. We should note that the Philippines is a third world country. Despite being rich in natural resources, the Philippines possess the following:
– lacks infrastructure
– suffers misappropriation of funds
Instead of using the government’s money to feed the proven heinous criminals, I believe that Philippines should rather focus on improving its infrastructure — especially the agricultural sector.
Thus, I, personally approve death (penalty) by hanging. Yes, because even if it is cruel, it is one of the cheapest to do among the death penalty methods and it will instill fear to those who belittle the Philippine law.
4. Filipinos need a long-lasting safety. What do you think will happen after President Duterte’s term, if those criminals were allowed to live? Do you think those criminals will live a different life and not continue their businesses and crimes? No, there is no such thing as happily ever after.
5. The government should prove to big time criminals that their money can’t save them. They say money can’t buy you happiness. But in the Philippines, if you are a rich criminal, money sure can. With the help of the loopholes in the Philippine law, money-minded lawyers and dishonest judges, big time criminals get away with their crimes.
By restoring death penalty and executing those who deserve it, big time criminals will think twice or stop doing their illegal works.
I believe that death penalty is the only way that the government can stop them.
What crimes should death penalty be imposed
- Heinous crimes
- Rape and/or murder
- Kidnapping for ransom
- Drug trafficking & illegal drug manufacturing
“Thou shalt not kill,” according to the Ten Commandments. Say that to the murderers and thou shalt be next.
With the issue on death penalty, let me borrow US Judge Alex Kuzinki’s words: Alex Kozinski, JD, Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, in a Nov. 7, 2002 Hoover Institution interview, stated:
Immanuel Kant said it best. He said a society that is not willing to demand a life of somebody who has taken somebody else’s life is simply immoral. So the question really… when the system works and when you manage to identify somebody who has done such heinous evil, do we as a society have a right to take his life? I think the answer’s plainly yes. And I would go with Kant and I would say it is immoral for us not to.
What do you think gives the murderers the right to kill innocent people? What justice can you give the bereaved family of the victims? I believe that it is the right of the government to impose death penalty when needed. And I believe NOW is the BEST time.
Downplaying Death Penalty
A lawyer once told me that not all convicted criminals are true criminals. Some are innocent, just poor and uneducated. Although Filipinos have big hopes and trust for President Duterte, we cannot deny that there is a possibility for death penalty to be abused. This is why I really hope that before President Duterte reinstate death penalty, he fix the justice system first and appoint trustworthy Chief Justices. And before executing the person, he or she SHOULD BE proven guilty beyond reasonable doubt.
We should not judge the book by its cover, we should judge undercover.