MAYNILA — Sen. Panfilo Lacson said Tuesday he is having second thoughts on his stand to restore the death penalty, citing worries over innocent convicts executed.
In an interview with DZRJ, the 2022 presidential aspirant said the proposal to restore the death penalty has to be studied carefully.
"Maraming mga development. Ako mismo ngayon, nagdadalawang-isip kasi alam mo mayroong mga true to life stories, mga talagang accounts sa ibang bansa na na-e-execute na walang kasalanan. So ito ang dapat pag-aralan mabuti," Lacson, a former national police chief, said.
(There are many developments. I myself now have second thoughts because there are true to life stories and accounts in our countries about innocent people being executed. So, this has to be studied well.)
Lacson had filed a bill to restore the death penalty because of the "increasing number" of heinous crimes.
He said he also previously proposed to include plunder as one of the crimes punishable by death.
FROM THE ARCHIVES
In 1993, then-President Fidel Ramos signed Republic Act 7659 allowing death penalty in the Philippines.
Another law, Republic Act 8177, specifically designated lethal injection as the mode of carrying out capital punishment. This was imposed in 1999 by then-President Joseph Estrada, followed by a moratorium until the passage of RA 9346.
Amnesty International said the death penalty is not only cruel, inhumane, and mostly affects those living in poverty, it does not also work as an effective way to deter people from committing crime.
WEST PHILIPPINE SEA
Lacson also reiterated that the Philippines should not surrender its sovereign rights in the West Philippine Sea, saying a “balance of power” is needed to address aggressive actions of China.
"Mayroon tayong sovereign rights over those reefs… so dapat talaga huwag natin i-surrender. Sa atin kasi iyan."
(We have sovereign rights over those reefs... so we should not surrender those. Those are ours.)
Lacson said the Philippines should rely on the help of other countries who have expressed willingness to patrol the waters, pointing out China’s military strength.
"Kailangan natin ng balance of power. Hindi natin kaya ang China, napakalakas… Umasa tayo sa mga tulong ibang bansa, marami namang gustong tumulong," he said.
(We need a balance of power. We can't match the strength of China... So let's rely on the help being extended by other countries. Many of them want to help us.)
The West Philippine Sea is the country's exclusive economic zone in the South China Sea, which Beijing claims in near entirety. Brunei, Vietnam, Malaysia and Taiwan also have overlapping claims over the resource-rich waterway.
A United Nations-backed court ruled in 2016 in favor of Manila and junked Beijing's claim to about 90 percent of the South China Sea.
However, Beijing continues to ignore the landmark ruling, and has supposedly militarized the marine resources- and energy-rich waters, which is also an international trade route.