Press Release
September 24, 2014

Privilege Speech of Senator Vicente C. Sotto III

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Mr. President, colleagues, good afternoon.

I stand once more advocating the return of the death penalty for certain heinous crimes like murder, rape and drug trafficking.

These past many years without a death penalty, we have become a virtual wild, wild west in these eastern islands.

Whether it be murder, rape, drug manufacturing, pushing and using, the numbers are on the rise. Criminals have more fun in the Philippines.

Every day, we are confronted by the following headlines in our daily newspapers:

  • P100-M shabu lab found in The Fort

  • 2 more 'shabu labs' discovered in Ayala Alabang

  • 3 chinese nationals convicted for operating shabu lab in Paranaque

  • 'Shabu' lab raided in Guiginto Bulacan

  • Shabu factory falls in GenSan

  • PDEA smashes shabu lab in Lipa

Just a week ago, some P4 billion worth of methamphetamine hydrochloride (shabu) and drug ingredients were seized while four persons were arrested in a raid conducted in a big shabu laboratory and facility in the province of Pampanga.

Recent news carry reports of the commission of other heinous crimes, such as:

  • Movie actress Cherry Pie Picache's 75 year old mother killed at home

  • 7-year-old girl murdered in Pandacan

  • 1-yr-old girl, possibly raped, found dead under jeepney

  • 6 resort crashers nabbed for rape, robbery

  • Police arrest 3 suspects in rape-slay of 26-year-old woman in Calumpit, Bulacan

  • Man kills 7-year-old daughter; posts photo of dead child on facebook

  • 91 year old woman, killed and raped

  • Girl, 7, gang-raped in Manila

It seems that these criminals are no longer afraid of committing heinous crimes. Even large-scale drug syndicates find it very convenient to put up drug laboratories in the Philippines. They perpetuate crimes without fear of being caught and punished by lifetime imprisonment.

The influx of heinous crimes committed poses an alarming situation in the country nowadays. The indiscriminate and horrendous brutality happening everywhere compelled me to file Senate Bill No. 2080 or an Act Imposing Death Penalty in the Philippines.

I know the objections to the reimposition of the death penalty.

Their objection # 1 is that we have an imperfect system of justice. Baka daw walang sala ang maparusahan ng kamatayan.

Mr. President, in a human world, nothing is perfect. This is no reason not to provide for the death penalty. Otherwise, let us not provide any penalty anymore for any crime, because we have an imperfect system.

Their objection # 2 is that it does not deter criminals. I beg to disagree. No Filipino overseas worker now seriously thinks of being a drug courier in China. They don't joke about the death penalty there. Is this not proof of the deterrent effect of the death penalty? Furthermore, the lethally-injected criminal has been deterred to kingdom come. He can continue his crime in another world.

Their objection # 3 is that only the poor will get the death penalty. We now have the Public Attorney's Office and the Legal Aid Office of the IBP and UP. Everyone is going to get his day in court. In the 1960's the President then sent four rich boys to the next world on conviction of rape.

We must act to a crime situation in the best way to protect society and the future generation.

In conclusion, let me ask my colleagues that we revisit the issue of the death penalty. There are now compelling reasons to do so. The next crime may be nearer to our homes, if not yet there. When society and government was created, according to sociologists and political scientists, the law of revenge in the hands of each one of us, was given to the government. We in government, must yield that power now, or else we shall regret its absence in our future.

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