Department of Interior Secretary Eduardo Año on Wednesday expressed support for President Duterte’s call for the reimposition of the death penalty in his fifth state-of-the-nation-address (SONA).
He stressed the “death penalty has been long overdue and should be passed “in order to reinforce our fight against illegal drugs.”
“This is an important deterrent to criminals to stop drug trafficking,” he added. “So many lives have been wasted because of drugs.”
As to the insistence of some sectors opposing the same, maintaining the reimposition will mostly affect poor individuals involved in petty crimes and not big time illegal drug syndicate members, Año maintained, “big or small we will run after them.”
“Their only option is to surrender,” he added.
Expounding further, Año cited the Philippines as the only country in Asia where the death penalty is not imposed.
Meanwhile, Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) Director-General Wilkins Villanueva said “the return of the death penalty should depend on certain quantities of confiscated narcotics.”
“Execution by lethal injection is for big-time drug traffickers, and not for the street-level pushers. I strongly suggest that seized drugs weighing one kilogram or more should be the threshold amount,” he explained.
Villanueva added, “foreign and local drug offenders, including drug protectors and coddlers who were found guilty of manufacturing, trafficking, and pushing of dangerous drugs, warrant the capital punishment.”
“Tougher penalties will send a clear message and force them to have second thoughts before smuggling and trafficking illegal drugs,” he maintained further.
“They have the luxury to operate in our country without worry because the maximum penalty on our laws is less harsh.”
President Duterte in his fifth state-of-the-nation-address (SONA) on July 27 has called for the swift passage of the reimposition of the death penalty for crimes specified under the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.