50-50 chance death penalty bill passes Senate – Zubiri

Published December 27, 2020, 3:22 PM

by Hannah Torregoza 

Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel “Migz” Zubiri said Sunday the measure that seeks to reimpose the death penalty as capital punishment has a 50-50 chance of being approval by the Senate.

Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel “Migz” F. Zubiri
(Alexis Nueva España / Senate PRIB / FILE PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN)

Zubiri made this assessment when asked of the chances of various pending bills seeking the revival of the death penalty which was raised once again in light of the killing by a police officer of a mother and son in Paniqui, Tarlac recently.

“Kung magkaroon ng botohan, I think 50-50’ yung chance. Pero hindi natin haharangin ito. Kung gusto nilang pagdebatihan ito, puwede naman (If there would be a voting, I think there is a 50-50 chance of it passing. But we will not block this. If they want to debate on it, that is possible),” Zubiri said in an interview over radio DZBB.
The fatal killing of Sonya Gregorio and her son Frank Anthony by Police Master Sgt. Jonel Nuezca had earlier sparked another debate on the revival of the death penalty as lawmakers pushing for its reimposition argue that it can serve as a deterrent for the commission of heinous crimes.
Nuezca, already in police custody, has been indicted for two counts of murder.

Zubiri said he believes it would be best to fix the country’s justice system first before reimposing the death penalty.
“Ako po ay isang Red Cross volunteer. Mahalaga po ang buhay ng tao (I am a Red Cross volunteer. A person’s life is very important),” he said.
He pointed out is dangerous to impose the death penalty to those who are wrongfully accused.
“Kasi dito sa criminal justice system natin, ‘yan ang problema, napakaraming problema pa. May kurapsyon, may maling hatol. Kapag patay na kayo, hindi na kayo puwedeng buhayin ulit (Because our criminal justice system is plagued with so much problems. There is corruption, there are those wrongfully judged. If you are dead, you can’t be raised to life again),” he stressed.
“Dapat siguro ayusin ang criminal justice system muna (We should fix our criminal justice system first),” he reiterated.
For now, Zubiri said he believes those who committed heinous crimes should be detained in a separate detention facility.
Zubiri, along with Senate President Vicente Sotto II and Sen. Richard Gordon, had earlier filed Senate Bill No. 1055 which seeks a separate detention facility for prisoners who were convicted of heinous crimes.