By Claire Morales True
This as another presidential aspirant, Sen. Panfilo “Ping” Lacson, said he has withdrawn his authorship of a bill seeking the imposition of death penalty on individuals convicted of heinous crimes.
Lacson said he was having “second thoughts” on his stance regarding death penalty, a position that drew praise from the Catholic Church.
Speaking to CBCP secretary-general Bernardo Pantin, Pacquiao said he would bat for reimposing capital punishment on those conditions.
“Itong corruption ay mas malala pa sa ating problema sa droga. Ito ang tunay na nagpapahirap sa ating mga mahihirap. We will punish them and give back their ill-gotten wealth to our people, ” Pacquiao said.
But Pacquiao, as quoted by ABS-CBN, assured he would push for wide-ranging reforms on law enforcement, prosecution, and the judiciary.
Lacson said he has sent a letter to the Senate’s Secretary requesting that “his bill, Senate Bill 27, no longer be considered for deliberation by the Senate panels concerned.”
“Mas mainam na ang guilty ikulong habang buhay sa halip na inosente ma-execute dahil sa pagkakamali,” said the lawmaker who was once chief of the Philippine National Police.
Lacson said he changed his mind especially after watching the movie “The Life of David Gale”, which is about an advocate for death penalty elimination who was falsely accused of a crime and found himself on death row.
His running mate in the 2022 elections, Senate President Vicente Sotto III, has also changed his stance on the issue.
Lacson said he now backs life imprisonment and the suggestion of Sotto to “confine drug lords in a ‘super max’ penitentiary.”
Amnesty International had said death penalty is not only cruel, inhumane, and mostly affects those living in poverty, it does not also work as an effective way to deter people from committing crime.
“Dapat ’yung mga guilty lang ang maparusahan ng death penalty. We should fix the 3 pillars of our justice system so that we will only punish those who are really guilty,” said in an ABS-CBN report.
He also raised the need to ensure the safety and security of members of the judiciary, as he expressed alarm over the increasing cases of assassinations on law practitioners.
“The members of our judiciary must be free from fear so that they can administer justice swiftly and fairly, ” Pacquiao said.