Death penalty by hanging on drugs cases only, favored by Sen. Sotto

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Incoming Senate Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III on Monday favored the re-imposition of death penalty by hanging but only on drugs cases as pronounced by incoming President Rodrigo Duterte.

In a phone patch interview, Sotto said it would be better for Congress to consult the Supreme Court first before crafting needed legislation to avoid passing an unconstitutional law.

“Naiintindihan ko iyong gusto nila (Duterte administration) pero mabigat ang dating. Secondly, napakamura. Kaya lang ang problema natin, may nakalagay sa Constitution natin na dapat the penalties should be humane,” Sotto said.

“Kaya nung binabalik namin yung death penalty noon, hirap na hirap ako kung anong klase ng penalty nga na dapat humane and that there must be a compelling reason to reimpose the death penalty,” he added.

Sotto said due to the gravity of drug cases wherein even jailed traffickers and financiers are able to operate within the four corners of Muntinlupa’s New Bilibid Prison, there is a compelling reason why the death penalty should be reinstated.

“And also now, may compelling reason kasi kitang kita natin nangyayari yung mga drug lords nakakulong na pero nag-o-operate pa rin kasi life imprisonment eh,” Sotto said.

“Habang buhay silang hari doon sa Muntinlupa Golf and Country Club. Ano solution? Ito nakikita nilang solution,” he pointed out.

He added that drugs are not only sold in the streets but also inside schools and concert grounds.

However, Sotto said that Congress should immediately consult the Supreme Court to make its passage easier.

“Nakikita ko sa ngayon, pinakamaganda, pagtalakay namin sa 17th Congress na mag-consult na kami antimano sa Supreme Court. Yan ang solution para madali yan. Kasi mangyayari dyan, kapag ipinasa namin, tapos death by hanging, may magdadala sa Supreme Court nyan eh. Sigurado sasabihin nyan unconstitutional dahil sabi ng constitution is humane punishment…so depende sa korte,” Sotto said.

“Eh kapag nangyari yan, matatagalan yan, medyo madi-drible yan. So pinakamaganda, maaga pa lang consult na sa SC. Hindi naman masama yan eh dahil co-equal branch of government but we can consult them and they can guide us kung ano ang madali,” the reelected senator said.

“Siyempre yung mga kontra, balik na naman yan, uulit na naman debate nyan. Tagal yan eh,” he added.

Not retroactive

Meanwhile, Sotto clarified that the proposed measure is not retroactive as expected by some sectors.

“Saka may isa pang problema yan, ‘di pa nakikita ng mga kababayan natin, hindi retroactive yan eh. Hindi retroactive pag masama eh, retroactive pag mabuti. Yan ang batas eh. It means lahat ng nakakulong ngayon na dating naka-sentence to death, 1,000 plus sila eh….hindi pwedeng ibalik sa DP. Nakikita natin dito yung mga padating pa lang na high level drug trafficker,” Sotto said.

He also urged the Duterte administration to look into Senate Bill 3226, which failed to pass the 16th Congress and was sent to archives, since it has good features that can be replicated on the proposed measure.

“Sana tingnan ng admin yung magandang features nito (Senate Bill No. 3226). Kasi ang bill na ito, i-segregate lahat ng high level drug convicts sa isang penitentiary na talagang nakasisiguro tayo na hindi sila makakapag-operate. Hindi sila magkakaroon ng Jacuzzi at tennis club,” Sotto said.

Meanwhile, Sotto said unlike in previous passage of death penalty until it was repealed by Congress, his position was to exclude other crimes like plunder and rape, which was included in the old law.

“Sa drugs lang talaga. Yung dati huwag na natin galawin kasi kapag isinama natin lahat yan, baka mangyari dyan katulad ng nangyari sa amin sa 9th Congress, nung fin-nile ko para sa drug trafficking lang talaga, yung lumabas 12 krimen ang isinama,” Sotto said.

“Eh ang haba lalo ng debates. Kung para sa drugs lang talaga, i-specify natin para sa droga. Later on file ng batas para sa ibang krimen. Ito’y kung gusto natin madali. Kaya malakas loob sabihin ng leaders ng Congress na within 3-6 months maipapasa ito. Puwede naman talaga…kaya naman talaga. Pero i-confine na lang muna sa drug trafficking, whatever level,” he further explained.

source: interaksyon

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