BuCor chief supports reimposition of death penalty

Published July 31, 2020, 2:52 PM

by Joseph Pedrajas

The head of the country’s correctional bureau on Friday (July 31) aired his support for the revival of the death penalty,  after President Duterte endorsed its reimposition to the joint Congress during his 5th State of the Nation Address last Monday. 

Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) chief Director General Gerald Bantag said he is “1,000 percent” in favor of reimposing capital punishment in the country, pointing out the recidivism of those who continue to trade illegal drugs despite behind bars after being convicted.

“Nakikita naman natin at nababalitan na kahit pa ang tatagal na nilang nakakulong dito…ano ang ginagawa nila, edi imbis na magbagong buhay…lalong nagpapakasama (We all see and get news of those who, even if they’ve been jailed for a long time…what do they do, instead of building a new life, they become worse),” Bantag said in an interview over DZBB radio.

“Involved [na] nga sila sa droga, nagpapapatay pa ng tao (Not only are they involved in drugs, but they also order the killing of people).”

In an interview with reporters at a site visit for the future Correctional Institute for Women facility to be built inside the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) compound,  Bantag noted that there are actually “many who are in favor of lethal injection” as one way to impose the death penalty.

“Sa Asian countries, tayo na lang yata walang lethal injection. Problema kasi natin, tingnan ninyo, convicted na ‘yan, andiyan pa rin namamayagpag dahil hindi kontrolado ng BuCor….dapat may ganoong sistema (Among the Asian countries, we’re the only one it seems without lethal injection. Our problem is, you see, that those who are convicted still hold sway because BuCor can’t control them… there should be a system [of punishment] like that),” he said.

“Hanggang mamatay yan, sumisistema pa rin ng illegal na droga. Nakita niyo naman, isang tawag lang sa cellphone, magde-deliver na sa labas, diba (Until they die, they will be involved in illegal drugs. As you can see, they make just one cellphone call, they can have drugs delivered outside, right),” he added.

In his speech, Duterte asked for the speedy approval of a bill reviving the death penalty by lethal injection for crimes specified under the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002, saying capital punishment will help eradicate the illegal drug trade which he claimed has been destroying families in the country. 

“This law will not only help us deter criminality but also save our children from the dangers posed by the illegal and dangerous drugs,” the President said.

Bantag said that the reimposition of the death penalty will not only get rid of convicts who are still operating in the drug trade but will also instill fear their suspected cohorts.

“Kung may lethal injection tayo, lahat ng contact na pulitiko na kasama nila, may takot na siguro (If we haad lethal injection, all their politician contacts might also be afraid),” he said.