Press Release
November 28, 2012

Cayetano on Crime Prevention: "Even if you had a bigger penalty if they think they can get away with it then no crime will be prevented."

Reporter: Do you favor the revival of the death penalty?

It's really not the penalty but the thought and faith of the people that they will be caught if commit a crime. I think there are 3 major reasons for crime. One is poverty that we should address through good economic poverty alleviation.

The other one is drugs. A third until half of crimes are drug-related. Unless you go after the root cause which is the illegal drugs, we will never be rid of crimes.

Lastly, greed. Underlying all of these is the belief that they will not be caught. For example, in other countries like Singapore, it's not like there's no crime. But they get scared because they know that if they do something they will be caught in a matter of hours. So others are deterred from committing crimes.

Whether its one day, one year, one hundred days or the death penalty, if you think that you won't get caught then the penalties mean nothing.

The death penalty, although I was for it in the past, there were at least two times in our history that there was an atmosphere of fear - the fear of committing crimes. But after they knew that the chance of the death penalty occurring is one in a thousand, they went back to committing crimes.

I think what we should focus on is the certainty that criminals will be caught and brought to justice. First, our jails are in such bad shape. Just the thought of going to jail is deterrent enough. The question now is the resources we're giving the police. One proposal is to give the police the technological advantage like CCTVs. So instead of adding more policemen in an area where there are so few, why not just add to the salary of the existing policemen and give them 100 CCTVs and monitoring means.

In Singapore, there are no police but every corner has CCTV. Even in the red light district, it really is monitored. So the crimes are really minimal.

Reporter: So we really should address the issue of impunity?

Yes. Even if you had a bigger penalty if they think they can get away with it then nothing will happen.

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