Gordon to push for harsher life imprisonment policy over death penalty

Katrina Domingo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 22 2017 05:25 PM

MANILA - An improved prison system and a stricter policy on life imprisonment would deter criminality rather than the re-imposition of death penalty, Sen. Richard Gordon said Saturday. 

Gordon, chair of the Senate committee on justice and human rights, made the statement as the chamber is expected to begin debates on the proposal to revive the death penalty, a priority measure of the Duterte administration, when the session resumes next month.

The lawmaker is against the measure. 

"It's a bigger deterrent kapag nakita na nakakulong yung masamang tao (at) nahihirapan," Gordon told ABS-CBN News.

(It's a bigger deterrent when the public sees the difficulties a criminal will have to put up with when placed behind bars.)

Under Gordon's proposal, inmates who were sentenced to life imprisonment will be sent to a separate penitentiary where the public can see their suffering while being subjected to hard labor.

Loneliness and deprivation of freedom are harsher punishments than death, Gordon said.

"Pati ang pamilya mahihirapan kasi magdadala ka ng pagkain, bibisita ka, malulungkot ka. Lalong mahirap yun kesa pinatay ka na lang tapos makakalimutan (ng iba) gagawa na naman ng pagpatay ng mga tao yang mga (kriminal na) yan."

(The inmate's family will also have a hard time because they have to bring food, visit their family member, and endure loneliness. That's worse than being dead. Once you're dead, others will eventually forget about you and repeat the crimes you committed. )

The Senate has yet to reach a consensus on the bill, even as the House of Representatives has speedily passed its version of the measure on third reading last month. 

Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III earlier said pro-capital punishment lawmakers will try to have the bill passed by June this year.