President Rodrigo Duterte reiterated Monday his support for the re-imposition of death penalty in the Philippines during his second State of the Nation Address (SONA).
"It is time for us to fulfill our mandate to protect our people. Tapos na 'yan. For so long we have to act decisively on this contentious issue. Capital punishment is not only about deterrence, it's also about retribution," he said.
He also explained that the essence of the country's penal code is retribution.
"Our criminal system uses the revised penal code. That is a law given to us by the Spaniards, the original revised penal code, though it was translated into English. And those two books, the definition of crimes and the penalties and everything, and the thrust of that revised penal code, ladies and gentlemen, is the essence of retribution. That is why you have penalty," Duterte said.
According to Duterte, instilling fear in criminals is the only way to stop them.
"In the Philippines, it is really an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth. You took life, you must pay it with life. That is the only way to even. You cannot place a premium on the human mind that he will go straight," he said.
"That's the advantage of criminals and rebels and terrorists because they think that you are afraid to die," Duterte added.
In March, House Bill 4727 or the death penalty bill was passed on the third and final reading in the chamber, with 217 lawmakers voting in favor, 54 against, and one abstention.
Under the measure, only drug-related offenses would be punishable by death.
In February, lawmakers removed rape, plunder and treason from the coverage of the bill.