Lawmaker revives death penalty proposal after Subic drug haul


Posted at Oct 02 2023 10:44 AM

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MANILA — A lawmaker on Monday revived proposals for the reimposition of the death penalty in the country after authorities discovered the entry of billions worth of shabu into Subic town in Zambales province.

Surigao del Norte 2nd District Rep. Robert Ace Barbers told ANC that he had been pushing for the restoration of the death penalty limited to drug cases since the 11th Congress.

"Death penalty could be a deterrent," said Barbers, who chairs the House committee on dangerous drugs.

Authorities announced last month that some P3.6 billion worth of suspected shabu supposedly entered through a Subic port and ended up in a warehouse in Pampanga.

Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla said that the suspected drug shipment, which had Thai markings, came with "chicharon" and dog food.

"Definitely may foreign involvement kasi international syndicate that we are talking about, ano talaga very sophisticated ito... It's [a] world menace," Remulla said.

But he admitted capital punishment is just one tool "that can deter the syndicates" from bringing illegal drugs into the country.

"The major reform we should do is to reform the law enforcers unit in trying to really perhaps include moral seminars," he said.

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

There is no evidence that the death penalty is an effective deterrent to the drug trade, according to a study by rights group Harm Reduction International. 

"In fact, according to available estimates, drug markets continue to thrive around the world, despite drug laws in almost every country being grounded in a punitive approach," it said. 

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