By Mario Casayuran
Two senators-elect agreed on Tuesday to file a bill seeking to restore the death penalty.
After attending a briefing/orientation for newly-elected senators by the Senate leadership at the Senate building for their legislative roles in the coming 18th Congress. Senator-elect Christopher Lawrence ‘’Bong’’ Go told Senate reporters said he was considering filing a bill that will seek to amend Republic Act 9346 that bans the imposition of death penalty.
The bill that he would file, according to Go, would reimpose the death penalty only on selected heinous crimes such as illegal drugs and corruption.
Senator-elect Ronald dela Rosa, a former Philippine National Police (PNP) chief, said he would also file a bill seeking to restore the death penalty on illegal crimes involving drug trafficking.
‘’Tandem kami,’’ both lawmakers said.
The definition of drug trafficking under his proposal, according to Dela Rosa, would involve possession of a minimum of one kilo of “shabu (crystal meth), and would not include small-time street level drug distribution whose penalty would be dependent on current laws.”
In the coming 18th Congress, Dela Rosa will take over the chairmanship of the Senate public order and dangerous drugs committee which Senator Panfilo M. Lacson willingly relinquished to a fellow Philippine Military Academy (PMA) graduate.
Asked if he would inhibit himself as committee chairman during committee hearings, particularly on issues related to illegal drugs, Dela Rosa said he would not because he and the nation want to see and hear the truth.
The illegal drugs issue hounds President Duterte and the PNP leadership, particularly on the alleged extra-judicial killings (EJK).
Go, who identified himself as senator and adviser of the President, said that among his marching orders from the President was “to do what is right and to protect the Filipino people.’’
Senate President Vicente C. Sotto III had favored the imposition of death penalty on high-level illegal drugs operations.
Boxing icon Senator Emmanuel D. Pacquiao has been pushing for congressional approval of his bill seeking the restoration of death penalty on heinous crimes.