MANILA, Philippines — Senator Manny Pacquiao remains positive that his bill for the restoration of death penalty in the country will be passed by Senate.
He says that while he is aware that there are a number of senators who are opposing this, many have also heard his arguments.
“Biblically, death penalty is allowed. The Bible says do not kill, ang ibig sabihin kasi noon kapag nagkasala ka sa akin, hindi kita pwede patayin (which means if you sin against me, I’m not allowed to kill you). Let the authority handle that. We are not talking about individually. We are talking about the law of the land, which is approved by God and instituted by God,” said Sen. Pacquiao.
He also submits to the suggestion of Sen. Panfilo Lacson for him to head a subcommittee that will tackle all bills related to death penalty.
Pacquiao also said that he shares the same sentiment with Majority Floor Leader Sen. Tito Sotto that death penalty should only be imposed to heinous crimes, such as high level drug trafficking.
“All the other crimes, rehabilitation is possible. Iyong sinasabing ibulok sa kulungan is possible, okay iyan. Pero yung high-level drug trafficking, nakakulong na nag-ooperate pa eh. Kaya hindi pwede eh. We have to inhibit that,” said Sen. Sotto.
(All the other crimes, rehabilitation is possible. The saying, “rot in jail” is possible, it’s okay. But in the case of high-level drug trafficking, operation continues despite incarceration. So it’s not going to work. We have to inhibit that.)
However, as early as now, some senators maintain they will oppose the passage of any measure to reinstate death penalty.
“The Liberal Party has taken the position that it is against the death penalty. So when it comes to the floor, we will state our position, and we will accordingly express our opposition,” said Sen. Franklin Drilon.
For Sen. Leila de Lima, “Ano man ang klase ng krimen ay nandyan pa rin ang ( Regardless of the crime there is still ) certain room for reformation; certain room for restorative justice.”
Sen. Panfilo Lacson added that the passage of a controversial measure in the Senate will not be as easy as it is in House of Representatives.
“Mahirap basahin ang mga andito sa Senate. Alam mo naman dito, 24 republics, iba ang usapan dito. Hindi pwede magbotohan based sa usap-usapan lang. All 24 of us will like to be heard and will like to argue.”
(It is difficult to read those in the Senate. You know how it is here — 24 republics, the discussions are different. You can’t just vote based on hearsay. All 24 of us will like to be heard and will like to argue.)
Senate debates on the proposed reimposition of death penalty have started as early as the 9th Congress, and the measure has not been passed due to conflicting opinions of lawmakers.
Now, the stand of higher chamber on the matter will be tested again, because while there are oppositions, reinstating death penalty remains to be one of the priorities of the Duterte administration