Press Release
August 25, 2010


Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri today demanded that DILG secretary, police officials and heads of law enforcement agencies involved in handling the negotiations and rescue efforts in Monday's bloody hostage incident to appear before the Senate investigating committee and explain to the public their absence or delayed appearance at the Manila hostage incident.

"Where was Gen. Versoza throughout this whole incident? Where was the NCRPO Chief, Gen. Santiago? And, most especially, where was Sec. Robredo, the head of DILG, throughout this whole affair? I was monitoring this incident from lunchtime til it's end, and I only saw Sec. Robredo in the evening. Being the head of the DILG and more particularly the National Police Commission, shouldn't he have taken control of the situation and probably, earlier in the day when the situation was calm, couldn't he have promised Mendoza a review of the case himself and not delegate that task to the Vice Mayor of Manila? Heck, couldn't he have just promised him reinstatement in exchange for the lives of all the hostages. Why could he not have done that?'' Zubiri asked in his privilege speech.

Zubiri further pointed out that Robredo could have been more credible than all the negotiators present during the height of the negotiations. He also called for an immediate review on the capacity of the Philippine National Police, the Internal Affairs Group and the NAPOLCOM.

The bloody hostage incident has also prompted Zubiri to seek the restoration of death penalty on heinous crimes.

"What can congress do to at least minimize or deter the commission of such crimes? Should we restore the death penalty to deter these crimes? Let the debates begin on this. And let the experience of other countries guide us in our decision. I sincerely believe that when the death penalty was in place and the execution of the hardened and god-less criminals by lethal injection gets full media coverage, the commission of heinous crimes decreased," Zubiri argued further citing gruesome news reports on the alarming rise of criminal acts involving kidnapping, robbery, murder and drug-related activities.

"With all these heinous crimes happening, we can only ask why these crimes continue? Why have the perpetrators of these crimes become embolden? It seems that they are not afraid anymore of our laws and our enforcers. To them being caught is simply free board and lodging in our jails. It's not a big deal for them," he stressed.

According to Zubiri, when death penalty was repealed in 2006, the country suffered a major setback in its peace and order efforts and it emboldens criminals to wantonly disregard the rule of law and the dignity of human life.

"This belief has prompted this representation to file SB No. 2383, or an act reimposing the penalty of death on certain heinous crimes, in the hope that once this bill is passed into law, it will deter the commission of these heinous crimes. Let us restore the death penalty for certain heinous crimes. I always say, if you do the crime, you do the time. Now I say, if you do a heinous crime, then you can say goodbye to your time," he explained.

Under the proposed bill, murder and drug-related activities are two heinous crimes that should be meted out with ultimate punishment. It further said that a person who killed another shall be guilty of murder and shall be punished by reclusion perpetua to death if committed with treachery; in consideration of a price or reward; with evident of premeditation; and with cruelty, by deliberately and inhumanly augmenting the suffering of the victim.

SB 2383 also seeks capital punishment for those who are involved in importing dangerous drugs and controlling precursors and essential chemicals such as: selling, trading, delivery, distributing and transporting of the same including manufacturing, possessing and cultivating of plants classified as dangerous drugs.

"With cocaine now replacing 'shabu' as the drug of choice among drug users I fear that this would result to the rise of drug-related heinous crimes," Zubiri lamented.

News Latest News Feed