Drilon says revival of death penalty ‘an uphill battle’

Published July 5, 2019, 9:07 PM

by Ellalyn De Vera & Richa Noriega

By Hannah Torregoza

Senate minority leader Franklin Drilon on Friday said he can already sense that anti-death penalty senators would be facing an uphill battle in the fight against the reimposition of the death penalty in the country.

Sen. Franklin Drilon (Facebook / MANILA BULLETIN)
Sen. Franklin Drilon

Drilon noted that a growing number of senators in the 18th Congress are now openly endorsing the measure imposing the death penalty as capital punishment.

The minority chief, a strong critic of the controversial measure, vowed he will fight “tooth and nail” to block the bill.

“We strongly and unequivocally oppose the reimposition of the death penalty. We are prepared to fight it all the way,” Drilon said in a statement.

Among the senators who authored death penalty bill included Senate President Vicente Sotto III and Senators Emmanuel “Manny” Pacquiao, Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa, Panfilo “Ping” Lacson, and Christopher “Bong” Go,

On the other hand, those who expressed support for its passage include Senators Sherwin Gatchalian, Cynthia Villar, Imee Marcos, Aquilino Pimentel III, Juan Edgardo “Sonny” Angara, Pia Cayetano, Bong Revilla, Francis Tolentino, and Manuel “Lito” Lapid.

“It will be a tough fight considering that it is administration-backed legislation and a number of senators have openly endorsed its passage. Let alone our diminished number in the Senate,” Drilon pointed out.

“Notwithstanding these difficulties, we will do our best to prevent it. We will never allow the 18th Congress to give license to authorities to kill the poor,” the senator assured.

Drilon, a former justice secretary, said that given the inadequacies of the justice system, reviving the death penalty is tantamount to giving a death sentence to the poor whom he said, would be made “victims of this cruel and inhumane punishment.”

“It has been proven time and again that capital punishment is not an effective deterrent to crimes. Only the poor will be made victim of this measure,” he added.

Aside from Drilon, the members of the minority, Senators Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan, Risa Hontiveros and Leila De Lima, who is currently detained over allegations drug charges, are also against the bill.

“No justice will be served if involves taking a life. Let’s be more rational, humane, independent, and conscientious in handling this very sensitive issue,” Drilon said.