President Rodrigo Duterte advocated again for the reinstatement of capital punishment, specifically lethal injection, for crimes related to illegal drugs during his fifth State of the Nation Address.
“I reiterate the swift passage of a law reviving the death penalty by lethal injection for crimes specified under the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002,” he said in his speech on July 27, Monday.
“This law will not only help us deter criminality, but also save our children from the dangers posed by the illegal and dangerous drugs,” he reiterated.
Duterte said that his administration believes that freedom from illegal drugs is a human right.
In an interview with CNN Philippines, Senator Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa said Duterte’s call is “a big boost” to the corresponding measure he filed in June 2019, which seeks to reinstate the penalty for drug traffickers.
“Matagal ko na kasing na-file ‘yung death penalty against drug trafficking, but until now it’s languishing at the referred committee kaya malaking boost ‘yung pakikiusap ni Pangulo sa ating Kongreso,” he said.
[I have long filed a bill seeking to revive the death penalty for drug trafficking, but until now it’s languishing at the referred committee, so the President’s appeal to Congress is a big boost.]
“Dapat talagang bitayin ‘yang mga drug lord na ‘yan,” he said. “Sabi sa’kin ng mga drug lord sa Bilibid, kung gusto raw talaga ng gobyerno mahinto o mabawasan man lang ‘yung drug trafficking, kailangan ibalik daw talaga ‘yung death penalty.”
[Drug lords should really be hanged. The drug lords in Bilibid told me that if the government really wants to stop or at least lessen drug trafficking, the death penalty should be reinstated.]
The 1987 Constitution abolished the death penalty but allowed Congress to bring it back for heinous crimes. It was revived under the administration of President Fidel Ramos, but was scrapped again under President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.