Senator Manny Pacquiao on Thursday filed Senate Bill 185, proposing that death penalty be reimposed, and the penalties be increased for heinous crimes involving dangerous drugs.
Speaking before the Senate justice and human rights committee resumed its probe into extrajudicial killings, the 8-division boxing champion cited a clause in Article 3 Section 19 of the Constitution which says death penalty should not be imposed, "unless, for compelling reasons involving heinous crimes, the Congress hereafter provides for it."
"This provision becomes relevant and useful in our ongoing war against drugs. The provision in clear language in granting Congress the authority to push for measures to reimpose the death penalty for compelling reasons," he argued.
"It is of my humble opinion that our problem with heinous crimes related to the trafficking and abuse of dangerous drugs falls within the bounds of this constitutional limitation," he added.
Section 4 of Republic Act No. 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 penalizes "any person, who, unless authorized by law, shall import or bring into the Philippines any dangerous drug, regardless of the quantity and purity involved."
According to Pacquiao, under his proposed bill, penalties shall also be be imposed on "those who shall import or bring or force, intimidate, direct, instruct or otherwise cause another person to bring into the country any dangerous drugs regardless of the quantity and purity involved."
Pacquiao added, his bill will also reduce the amount of drug possession punishable with life imprisonment from 50 grams to 10 grams.
He said, Senate Bill 185 is being filed separate from similarly intended bills for any other crimes in order to "move the bill forward with focus and unburdened by more lengthy consideration of other crimes."
“This will allow for us a timely opportunity to stop the nation’s growing problem over crimes related to the trafficking and abuse of dangerous drugs,” he said.
“The Senate must be clear in its intention to deter dangerous drugs crimes....that the country will now fight back to [win] the good of its people, the meaning of its future,” he added.
Justice and Human Rights Committee Chairman Richard Gordon noted that Senator Panfilo Lacson has filed a similar bill “Instituting Death Penalty in the Philippines.”