Lacson says he is no longer for restoration of death penalty

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 04 2021 05:56 PM | Updated as of Nov 04 2021 05:57 PM

Sen. Panfilo Ping Lacson and Senate President Vicente Sotto III pose for photos after filing their respective certificates of candidacy for president and vice president for the 2022 national election at the Sofitel Hotel in Pasay City on Oct. 6, 2021. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News/File 
Sen. Panfilo Ping Lacson and Senate President Vicente Sotto III pose for photos after filing their respective certificates of candidacy for president and vice president for the 2022 national election at the Sofitel Hotel in Pasay City on Oct. 6, 2021. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News/File 


MANILA — Presidential contender Sen. Panfilo Lacson on Thursday said he changed his stance and is now against the restoration of death penalty. 

The lawmaker earlier filed a bill to restore death penalty over the increasing number of heinous crimes. But Lacson said he changed his mind especially after watching the movie "The Life of David Gale."
 
The film is about an advocate for death penalty elimination who was falsely accused of a crime and found himself in death row. 

“Namulat ang aking kaisipan na mas importante na ma-save ang buhay ng na-convict kaysa sa mag-execute tayo ng talagang convicted at napatunayang nagkasala," Lacson told said in a virtual press conference. 

"Noong tinimbang ko iyon, sa tingin ko mas matimbang na ma-save ang buhay ng wrongly convicted. So nagbago ang aking pananaw, kaya wi-withdraw ko ang aking na-file na bill.”
 
(I realized it is more important to save the life of a wrongly convicted person that to execute a convicted person. When I weighed that, I now think it is more important to save the life of a wrongly accused person. I will withdraw the bill I filed on death penalty.) 

“I’m also a convert… (like Senate President Vicente Sotto III),” Lacson said, referring to his running-mate.
 
Sotto said one of the first bills he filed when won as senator in 1992 was the reimposition of the death penalty. But he said a better solution would be to confine high-level drug convicts and heinous criminals in a separate “super max” penitentiary with no means of communication.

“Kung mayroon ding ibang solusyon, na-convert kami,” Sotto said.

(If there is some other solution, we were converted.) 

"Napakaganda ng suggestion ni Senate President Sotto. Magdurusa habang buhay at talagang wala siyang gagawin kundi magsisi… Nakakakonsensya talaga kasi iyong walang kasalanan after ma-execute, napakabigat dalhin iyan," Lacson said.

(Senate President Sotto's suggestion is very good. They should suffer for life and do nothing else but repent. It takes a toll on the conscience to execute someone sinless, that would be very difficult to carry.) 

 PRESS FREEDOM, LABOR ISSUES 

Tackling another issue, Sotto pointed out that he is the grandson of the author of the press freedom law. He said he also introduced an amendment to include broadcast media among those covered by this law. 

Enacted in 1946 and popularly known as the “Sotto Law,” Republic Act No. 53 exempts journalists of any publication from revealing the source of published news obtained in confidence. Its main author was Sen. Vicente Yap Sotto.

Congress in 2019 enacted Republic Act No. 11458 that expanded the coverage of the law to include journalists from broadcast and other news agencies.

“Siguro malinaw na kung saan kami pagdating sa press freedom,” Sotto said. 

(Perhaps it is clear where we stand when it comes to press freedom.)

He also vowed to "pursue freedom of information." 
 
Lacson put premium on freedom of the press and stressed the need for public servants to be transparent

“Ang freedom of the press hindi lang importante sa demokrasya (Freedom of the press is not just important for democracy). It is democracy itself,” he said.

“Ako, maximum ang transparency. Lahat ng ginagawa ng gobyerno dapat transparent sa media. Through you, kayo naman talaga ang medium para makarating sa ating mga kababayan kung ano ang mga kapalpakan, kung ano ang tagumpay ng ating mga namumuno,” said the lawmaker. 

(For me, it's maximum transparency. Everything the government does should be transparent to the media. You are the medium through which our compatriots are informed about whatever errors, whatever triumphs our leaders have.)

“After all, you may not be our masters but definitely kami ang servants ninyo. So bakit kami kailangan magtago? Ang tawag nga sa amin public servants. I am all for it. Kaya ang tawag natin sa media fourth estate.” Lacson added.

(After all, you may not be our masters but definitely we are your servants. So why will we hide? We are called public servants... That is why we call media the fourth estate.)

Asked about his position on contractualization, Lacson said interests of the employees and employers have to be weighed, but that security of tenure must be ensured. He said he favored giving more protection to ordinary workers.

“Maraming mga issues involved. Kailangan ng masusing pag-aaral kasi nga babalansehin mo rin ang mga employers at saka ang mga employees, ang kanilang mga sariling interes," he said. 

(There are many issues involved. A thorough study is necessary because you will balance the interests of employers and employees.)

"But offhand, sabihin ko na kailangan bigyan ng security of tenure ang ating mga manggagawa kasi human capital ng bansa ang ating workforce... I would venture more on giving protection to our workers, especially ordinary workers.”

(But offhand, I will tell you that our workers should have security of tenure because the workforce is the human capital of our country.)

 WHY SO SERIOUS? 

Lacson believes he has a better chance of winning after communicating with voters his platform of government.

He said that while there may be a need to adjust his communication strategy, Lacson stressed the importance of being serious in discussing issues and conveying his plans for the country during current “trying times.”

“Laging issue based kami, baka hindi masyadong interesadong pakinggan. Kasi ang gusto ng mga kababayan natin iyong may patawa, tapos may kaunting TikTok, tapos iyong mga ibang mabababaw na issue ang pag-uusapan," Lacson said. 

(We are always issue-based, so it might not be interesting to hear. Our compatriots want some comedy, a bit of Tiktok, discussions on other shallow issues.)

"We have always been serious in addressing kasi these are trying times in our history. Hindi mo pwedeng makuha ito sa lip service, kung anu-anong pangako. Kami bago kami nagbitaw ng salita, pinag-aralan muna namin. Nagtanong kami sa mga eksperto,” he continued. 

(We have always been serious in addressing because these are trying times in our history. You cannot just pay lip service, simply make various promises. Before we say something, we study it first, we ask experts.) 

Sotto dubbed his and Lacson's plans as "future-proof strategy, meaning it can withstand the test of time." - with a report from  Willard Cheng, ABS-CBN News
 

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