What lawmakers say about reimposing the death penalty

Caroline Howard, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 18 2017 09:57 PM

Senator Manny Pacquiao has referenced the Scriptures in his pitch for the death penalty in the Upper Chamber as the debates continue on whether capital punishment should be restored.

"Even Jesus Christ, nasentensyahan ng kamatayan, dahil ang government nag-impose talaga ng death penalty," said boxer-turned-politician on Tuesday.

The Lower House, meanwhile, is divided on the death penalty ahead of debates scheduled in the chamber next week.

Siquijor Representative Ramon Rocamora told Mornings@ANC on Wednesday that the majority is "not comfortable with the numbers right now," and a good number of congressmen who are undecided will determine the actual vote.

Meanwhile, PBA Party-list Rep. Jericho Nograles, a member of the supermajority, said in a separate interview that he is against reviving capital punishment. 

He hopes the House leadership will encourage healthy debates on the controversial issue.

For him, what should be prioritized instead is the improvement of the dispensation of justice. He noted that according to the Office of the Court Administrator, there are more than 720,000 active civil and criminal cases which are adding up by the day.

"We should add courts, we add prosecutors and we add public attorneys. When we do that, we bring down the waiting time for a decision and people will believe in the justice system again. They don’t need to say, o pabayaan na lang natin yan, we won’t get anything naman from the courts'," he said.

Rocamora and Nograles both say government should prioritize these judicial reforms, speed up conviction, and the delivery of justice.