MANILA - The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) on Tuesday said death penalty will serve as a "strong deterrent against crimes related to illegal drugs" after President Rodrigo Duterte called on Congress to reinstate capital punishment.
“Foreign and local drug offenders, especially drug protectors and coddlers who were found guilty of manufacturing, trafficking, and pushing of dangerous drugs, warrant the capital punishment,” PDEA Director General Aaron Aquino said in a statement.
“Offenders of heinous crimes fueled by illegal drugs, like rape, also deserve the state-sanctioned execution,” he added.
According to Aquino, the more uncompromising and tough the law is, the harder it is to break.
“Death penalty, not life imprisonment, must be imposed to all international and local drug traffickers to send a strong message not to turn our country into a business hub for illegal drugs. They tend to capitalize on our laws where the maximum penalty is less harsh,” he said.
PDEA stressed life sentence (reclusion perpetua) has its share of disadvantages compared to the death penalty.
"Besides the problem of overcrowding in jails, there are reports that several convicted drug lords are still involved in the illegal drug trade, and continue to communicate with the outside world while in incarceration," the PDEA said.
Duterte asked Congress to reinstate capital punishment for heinous crimes related to drugs and corruption during his 4th State of the Nation Address last Monday.
The death penalty bill has faced strong opposition from senators of the 17th Congress. The House of Representatives, however, passed the proposed measure.