Cayetano vows a 'very healthy' debate on death penalty bill


Posted at Jul 28 2019 02:03 PM

Taguig-Paterop 1st District Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano takes his oath as House Speaker of the 18th Congress at the House of Representatives on July 22, 2019. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

MANILA -- Newly installed House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano promised Filipinos Sunday of a "very healthy" debate on the proposal to revive death penalty in the country.

Cayetano assured the public that discussions on capital punishment only aims to deter crime.

"I can promise sa ating mga kababayan, whether kayo ay pro or against, na magkakaroon ng very healthy debate dito sa House of Representatives. Ang tutuunan nito ay isa lang, paano mapigilan ang krimen, lalo na ang heinous crime sa ating bansa," he said.

(I can promise our countrymen, regardless of whether you are pro or anti, we will have a very healthy debate here at the House of Representatives. This only aims to deter crime, particularly heinous ones in our country.)

President Rodrigo Duterte, during his fourth State of the Nation Address, renewed his pitch for the revival of the death penalty.

Duterte asked Congress, which is dominated by his allies, to reinstate capital punishment for heinous crimes related to drugs and corruption.

“I respectfully request Congress to reinstate the death penalty for heinous crimes related to drugs as well as plunder,” he said.

The death penalty was abolished in the Philippines in 2006.

Cayetano said discussions on capital punishment should be geared towards prevention of crime and not as "an end by itself."

"So while we are deciding as a nation, whether we reinstitute death penalty, let's all help each other na mabawasan ang (to lessen) crime," he said.

Duterte has been hoping to reinstate the death penalty in the Philippines, where nearly 80 percent of its population is made up of Catholics, as he wages his war on illegal drugs and pursues an anti-crime campaign.