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Bong Go reiterates support to PRRD’s call to reimpose death penalty

August 01, 2020 - Saturday 7:08 PM by MDM

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Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go reiterated his support to President Rodrigo Duterte’s renewed call for the reimposition of the death penalty by lethal injection for crimes under the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002. 

During his fifth State of the Nation Address last July 27, the President vowed to “save the nation’s youth from the dangers posed by illegal and dangerous drugs”, adding that he believed that freedom from illegal drugs, terrorism, corruption and criminality is, in itself, a human right. 

At the regular session of the Senate on Wednesday, July 29, Go manifested his support in response to a privilege speech by Sen. Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa, the chair of the Senate Committee on Public Order and Dangerous Drugs. In his speech, Sen. dela Rosa urged his colleagues in the Senate to deliberate on the issue of the death penalty which he claimed contributed to the substantial decline in the country's crime rate from 1993 to 2005. 

Dela Rosa filed Senate Bill No. 226 in July 2019 which seeks to impose the death penalty on individuals involved in the importation and manufacture of dangerous drugs and essential chemicals as well as the cultivation or culture of plants classified as dangerous drugs. 

“Mr. President, I would like to echo Senator Bato dela Rosa and express my support for the reimposition of death penalty for certain heinous crimes. Last year, I filed SBN 207, seeking to amend Republic Act 9346, which abolished the death penalty as punishment in the Philippines,” said Go. 

On July 2, 2019, Go filed SBN 207 which cites RA 7659 or the Death Penalty Law as proof of the people’s intent to treat dangerous drugs as a heinous crime. The proposed measure also revives RA 8177 which designates death by lethal injection as the method for carrying out capital punishment. 

“In addition to the strengthened campaign of law enforcers to eradicate illegal drugs and criminality, reimposing the death penalty can be a strong deterrent for the commission of heinous crimes. In effect, if we can stop crimes from happening, unfortunate encounters in police operations will also be avoided and lives of both police and the public can be protected,” said Go. 

“Palakasin natin ang legal na proseso. Maraming nagbubuwis ng buhay dahil sa mga police operations,” he added. 

In his SONA, the President warned that the dealers and purveyors of illegal drugs have intensified their activities even during the COVID-19 pandemic. He lamented the profound and adverse impact drug addiction has had on Filipino families, including the victims of crimes perpetrated by people addicted to illegal drugs. 

“The proliferation of heinous crimes ignited the call for a tougher and more (definitive) stance against crimes that have plagued the security and development of the nation. Illegal and dangerous drugs have been a recurring cause of suffering for families and individuals in the country, and that there is no question that this societal problem can destroy the basic institution of the family,” reasoned Go.  

“As President Duterte said in his State of the Nation Address, this measure will not only help us deter criminality but also save our children from the dangers posed by illegal and dangerous drugs,” he ended. Go reiterated the same sentiments in an interview conducted on July 30 where he drew parallels between the drug problem and the ongoing global pandemic. He also disclosed ongoing discussions over the quantity of drugs required to incur the capital punishment which should cause fear among drug traffickers and reduce the influx of illegal drugs into the country.

“Sa legitimate police operation ay ang dami pong namamatay dyan at minsan po napagbibintangan pa 'yung gobyerno. Kawawa naman 'yung mga awtoridad natin... So, pwede naman maiwasan 'yan kung mawala 'yung droga at wala pang masakripisyong buhay," he also added.

The Senator also expressed his support for President Duterte for applying the same fervor on the campaign against corruption and abusive business practices taking advantage of the vulnerabilities of people during the pandemic by selling overpriced medicines and medical supplies. He said they should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. 

“Tulad ng sabi ng Pangulo, panahon po ito para magmalasakit at magkaisa. Hindi po tayo papayag na may mga taong nanlalamang at nang-aabuso sa kapwa lalo na sa panahon na naghihirap ang ating mga kababayan,” Go stressed.