Angara wants 'compelling evidence' death penalty deters crimes


Posted at Jul 30 2020 01:07 PM

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Sen. Sonny Angara on Thursday said he needed "compelling evidence" that the death penalty could deter crimes and that "miscarriages of justice" could be avoided before he votes for its revival, which President Rodrigo Duterte sought again this week. 

The Senate is a "divided house" on the return of capital punishment, said Angara, adding that he was part of the "middle camp."

"I’m open but I need to see compelling evidence that it will be effective, that we won’t be prosecuting, putting to death, killing the wrong people," he told ANC. "You might have miscarriages of justice. I don’t want that to happen."

"I need to see compelling evidence that this will be effective in deterring heinous crimes. I need to see compelling evidence that our justice system is ready to implement this in a fair manner," he added.

Duterte in his State of the Nation Address on Monday urged lawmakers to reinstate the death penalty by lethal injection for crimes linked to narcotics. 

Lawmakers need to weigh the cost and benefit of reviving the death penalty, said Angara. 

The European Union in 2006 was one of the main proponents of abolishing capital punishment "not just for humanitarian reasons, but also for effectivity," Angara said.

"They were saying that it’s largely ineffective, and they linked it to trade privileges of the country," he said. 

The death penalty might work for some countries and not in the Philippines, said the senator. 

"You have to look at the realities on the ground," he said. 

The reimposition of capital punishment, especially for illegal drug offenders, was among Duterte's campaign promises in 2016, saying the threat of death can deter the proliferation of narcotics in the country.

The death penalty was abolished in the Philippines in 2006, under the presidency of Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.