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Duterte insists on death penalty by hanging, to be harsh vs criminals, strict to crooks in gov't

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(Photo from Philippine Star)


DAVAO CITY (via PhilAmPress) — Three days before assuming leadership in the country in ceremonies in Malacanang, President-elect Rodrigo Duterte  insisted on executing criminals by hanging, just days after Pope Francis and Philippine religious l—aders issued a statement opposing the death penalty.


Duterte said while critics of capital punishment view it as “inhuman,” criminals under the influence of drugs have been reduced to a “bestial state.”


“I’m asking for re-imposition of death penalty so that I can hang them,” Duterte said at the turnover ceremony at the Davao City Police Office.


“They say that death penalty is inhuman. But what is so human about killing an 18-year-old child or raping her? Drugs have reduced human killing into bestial state,” he added. 


Duterte reiterated his message on Monday in a farewell message to officials and employes of the Davao City government in one of his rare appearance during their flag-raising ceremony as he dismissed speculations that it is not a deterrent to the commission of crimes.


“I follow the classical the classical theory – magbayad ka sa ginawa mo (you pay for what you have done),” Duterte said emphasizing the word retribution. Other people used the positivist theory that criminals can still be redeemed.


According to Classical Criminology, classical theory is where decisions to violate the law are weighed against possible punishments. And to deter crime, the pain of punishment must outweigh the benefit of illegal gain, he said.


Duterte said death penalty in the Philippines in the past did not serve its objective because it was not implemented.


“I believe in the retribution. Magbayad ka (You pay),” he said.


Duterte further expressed commitment with the promises he made.

He said the death penalty is more of retribution than a deterrent to a crime. 


“If there is death penalty, you won’t be afraid anymore because you will be killed,” he said. 


Earlier, the Coalition Against Death Penalty (CADP) and Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines-Episcopal Commission on Prison Pastoral Care (CBCP-ECPPC) asked Duterte and Congress not to revive capital punishment.


In a statement, the groups asked for an affirmation to the option for life as they vowed to campaign for improvements in the criminal justice system and encourage a rehabilitative and non-punitive correctional system.


Duterte, on several occasions, has asked legislators to re-impose the death penalty, believing this would deter criminals from doing their acts.


But the CBCP-ECPPC and CADP said they would continue lobbying for the non-restoration of the death penalty and help in educating the public on the issue.


“Filipinos share a common vision of a truly just, humane and peaceful society. They have chosen to oppose the unnecessary taking away of life of any individual and uphold the inherent dignity of all persons,” their statement read.

Duterte vowed to deliver his promises to the people as he vowed to be harsh towards criminals, strict to the wrongdoers but caring for the helpless, hopeless and defenseless people.


“I will insist what I promised to the people,” he told hundreds of government in his farewell message during one of his rare attendance at Monday’s flag-raising ceremony at the Davao City Hall grounds.


Duterte emphasized a no let up campaign against corruption and criminality which have become the centerpiece of his campaign that eventually won him the presidential bid.


Given this, Duterte said he will be harsh to the criminals and strict to crooks in government.


“My government is for the helpless, hopeless, defenseless,” Duterte said borrowing words from his late father Vicente Duterte, the governor of the then undivided Davao.


He stressed that corruption added to the lifestyle of some government workers such as those in the Bureau of Internal Revenue and the Bureau of Customs. “Please stop,” he urged.


Duterte also promised government reforms. He wanted the regulatory commissions and the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) to work on a system on license, permits and passports processing in order to avoid long queue of people.


He said he hated seeing people lining up, others sleeping in pavements for a “first-come-first-serve” basis to get priority numbers in applying passports or licenses.


He would also look into government contracts that also go with graft and corruption.


Duterte was at his element joking and teasing workers. He started his talk recalling his uncertainty on running the presidency to the final decision, the campaign, and the success in the election. At times serious at the mention of his anti-drugs and criminality campaign.


“Corruption in government, criminality tatapusin ko yan maski sagasaan kahit sino (I will finish it whoever gets hit). I will stake my life, honor and the presidency even if I lose it. Impeachment? Go ahead,” he said.


Duterte said the drugs problem in the country must be addressed or the country will end up controlled by narco-politics. He cited that a newly-elected Mexican president was just able to take oath but assassinated hours later.


“I will not allow the country to degenerate,” he promised.


Curfew, liquor ban


He vowed to work for the protection of the children. He said the campaign on the curfew on minors will continue throughout the country. Defying his critics on curfew, Duterte said they are the people who do not understand the law. “When we take into custody the children we protect them from harm,” he stressed. He cited a provision in the Revised Penal Code on the arrest of parents for abandoning or exposing child to danger.


Duterte said curfew must be strictly implemented throughout the country but he promised to decide  if “I will impose the 1 a.m liquor ban.”


“We cannot be forever be drinking and forever be merrymaking,” said Duterte adding that the vice does not really do good to the country and children.


Capital punishment was abolished in 1987 during the presidency of Corazon Aquino but was re-imposed in 1993 under President Fidel Ramos.


Crimes that were punishable by death include rape, kidnapping, murder and drug trafficking.


President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo scrapped the death penalty anew on June 24, 2006 after approving Republic Act 9346. Her successor, President Aquino also opposed capital punishment, believing it would not address criminality in the country.


The restoration of the death penalty is one of the priorities of the administration of Duterte, who anchored his campaign on maintaining peace and order.


Last week, Pope Francis reiterated the Catholic Church’s opposition to the death penalty, saying it goes against the will of God.


He stressed that both the guilty and the innocent have the right to life.


“It must not be forgotten that the inviolable and God-given right to life also belongs to the criminal,” the pontiff said in a video message sent to delegates of the sixth World Congress against capital punishment in Oslo, Norway.


“Indeed, nowadays, the death penalty is unacceptable, however grave the crime of the convicted person,” he added.



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