Press Release
August 2, 2020

Dispatch from Crame No. 866:
Sen. Leila M. de Lima on Duterte's latest push for Death Penalty


Everywhere in the world, people are looking for ways to keep humans alive during this pandemic. Everyone is hoping and working to find solutions to save lives.

Apparently, everyone everywhere except our own President, who is preoccupied with bringing back the death penalty by lethal injection.

In a moment of sheer shamelessness, Duterte proved that he is more than willing to continue to take undue advantage of a health and public safety crisis in order to move against the interests of his own people, this time in a bid to satisfy his lust for dead Filipinos.

Deaths by a virus is not enough for him. It has to be death by his own hands: by hook or by crook; legally or extra-legally. To him, finding a cure is not a priority. Having the legal authority to kill is.

What is it about this President that makes him hate Filipinos so much that he has again spoken about bringing back the Death Penalty amidst a coronavirus pandemic? Without even having an answer for the people who are rightfully asking him what are his government's plans to combat COVID-19, he, in his perversion, turns the discussion to killing people instead.

Namamatay na po ang mga tao nang walang kalaban-laban. Hindi po ba dapat pagbuhay sa mga Pilipino ang prayoridad ng gobyerno? Bakit pagpatay pa rin ang nasa isip ng Presidenteng ito?

It is not even an effective deterrent to crimes, as many factors come into play when a person commits a crime: poverty, environment, education and values. In fact, the real deterrent effect does not come from simply imposing the severest punishment possible. It comes from effective law enforcement: from heightened crime prevention efforts and, if those fail, successful and effective crime detection, investigation and prosecution. None of these things Duterte is good at addressing: not at alleviating poverty, not at improving social environment, or people's education and values.

So he resorts to the Death Penalty because, like him, that is good for one thing and one thing only: killing, regardless of innocence or guilt.

Nearly every week, corrupt, abusive and suspicious practices (not to mention sheer inefficiencies) in his government are revealed. Even some of his usual supporters in the Senate now express disbelief over the mysterious deaths and resurrections happening in the national penitentiary. Yet, he disregards the danger that such an imperfect system poses to the lives of innocent people who will be wrongfully convicted and killed.

But that doesn't matter to him.

Katulad ng dati, pinapatunayan lamang n'ya na bale-wala sa kanyang magsakripisyo ng buhay... basta hindi ang sarili n'yang buhay.

After the highway robbery that was the ABS-CBN franchise renewal debacle, and the bantay-salakay tactic of the untimely passage of the Anti-Terror Law, a.k.a. the Duterte Pro-Terror Law, we all know that he and his minions in the Davao Government will do as they please.

This is no longer our country, where Filipinos are served and protected, and their interests are paramount. This is now Duterte country led by the Davao Government, where Filipinos are terrorized into submission, used, pawned to a foreign power and disposed of, at the dictates of their own personal and vested interests.

Mr. President, we already know you are an expert at killing, as you yourself love to remind us. Now, your people - to whom you owe your mandate - are asking you what are your plans to keep them alive against COVID-19.

Ang pangako mong pagsakay sa jetski papuntang Scarborough Shoal para ipagtanggol ang soberenya ng ating bayan ay abo na. Patuloy mo rin bang aabuhin ang buhay ng mga kapwa mo Pilipino? Ito ba ang bersyon mo ng "War against COVID"? Nakikipagpaligsahan ka ba sa isang virus sa dami ng mapapatay?

Sobra na ang patayan. Sawa na ang mga Pilipino sa apat na taong patayan. In your fifth year, try playing another beat, Mr. President. If you can.

(Access the handwritten copy of Dispatch from Crame No. 866 here:

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