MANILA—Sen. Panfilo “Ping” Lacsong on Tuesday said he finds the death penalty by firing squad being proposed by Sen. Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa too “brutal”.
Lacson and Dela Rosa, both former chiefs of the Philippine National Police, have filed their respective bills seeking to reimpose the death penalty.
Lacson said he prefers lethal injection as means for carrying out the capital punishment, but he agreed with Dela Rosa that a public execution would send a strong message to criminals.
“Kesa naman sa firing squad. Medyo brutal naman masyado, although experience would tell us in , si Lim Seng, when he was publicly executed through firing squad, talagang nag-zero, almost gone, almost nil, if not talagang totally nawala ang problem ng drugs,” Lacson told reporters.
“Sen. Dela Rosa may have a point dahil ganoon ang situation. Kasi kapag nakita na may certainty tapos masyadong graphic o kitang kita ang parusa, siyempre nag-i-instill ng fear yan sa mga kriminal.”
Dela Rosa’s bill imposes death as maximum penalty only for the importation and manufacture of illegal drugs and its precursors.
Lacson, on the other hand, seeks the death penalty for a slew of crimes including illegal drug crimes, qualified piracy, qualified bribery, parricide, murder, rape, kidnapping and serious illegal detention, destructive arson, plunder, terrorism, human trafficking, and arms smuggling.
Senators Manny Pacquiao and Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go have also filed similar bills, while Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian also plans to submit his own version.
Senate President Vicente Sotto III last week said the chance of reviving the death penalty is now higher under the 18th Congress as long as it would be imposed on “high-level” drug traffickers.
Dela Rosa is expected to chair the Senate Committee on Public Order and Dangerous Drugs after Lacson agreed to give up the position.
Lacson believes heading the committee would widen Dela Rosa’s perspective on the matter.
“Kasi ako noon, parang perspective ko nanggagaling lang sa law enforcement. Since I want him to succeed as a legislator, mas maganda ang maaga-agang mamulat na siya na huwag lang sa law enforcement side ang tingnan mo — ang plight ng mga nato-‘tokhang’. Let’s face it may mga abuses din ang pulis. Iyan ang purpose,” Lacson said.
The Philippines was the first Asian country to abolish death penalty in 1987, but it was reinstated under President Fidel Ramos in response to increasing crime rates. It was abolished again under President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in 2006.