MANILA (Mabuhay) – Senator-elect Panfilo “Ping” Lacson has thumbed down the proposed restoration of the death penalty only during the six-year term of President-elect Rodrigo Duterte.
“I don’t agree. The Senate is a self-respecting institution and should not legislate to please the incumbent President of the Philippines which obviously is what will be projected to our people if we include a sunset provision limiting the effectivity of the proposed legislation on the restoration of the death penalty,” Lacson said over the weekend.
“My take is, either we vote for or against the measure once it reaches the Senate floor depending on our own conviction but definitely not to accommodate the President of the Republic,” he added.
Lacson, who is in favor of the death penalty, was responding to reelected Senator Ralph Recto’s statement that the proposed restoration of the death penalty should have a sunset provision that it should be imposed for six years only.
“I am personally against the death penalty but assuming it will be restored, I will propose it be imposed only for six years or only during the term of President Duterte,” Recto said in a text message to reporters last Friday.
Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III, chairman of the Senate committee on justice, was also cold to Recto’s proposal, saying there was no need for such a provision since the law could be repealed anyway.
“That’s a novel approach but baka mag-open tayo ng new debates about that (That’s a novel approach but we might open new debates about that)…” he said of Recto’s proposal.
“Anyway, ‘pag nabago na po ang mood ng taumbayan, nagbago na po ang mood ng legislators, ng policymakers, it can be repealed any time. There’s no irrepealable law so anytime, when the time comes, it can be repealed; pwede na pong hindi ilagay ‘yang sunset provision sa batas,” Pimentel said.
(Anyway, if the people’s mood changes, if the mood of the legislators and policymakers change, it can be repealed any time. There’s no irrepealable law so anytime, when the time comes, it can be repealed; having a sunset provision won’t be necessary.)
Pimentel, who is said to be the next Senate president in the 17th Congress, believes that the death penalty should be reimposed on heinous crimes involving illegal drugs.(MNS)