Marcos says he's still 'conflicted' on reimposing death penalty

President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. seemed not to have made up his mind yet about the death penalty, saying it remains a sensitive topic that involves both practical and moral issues.

President Ferdinand 'Bongbong' Marcos Jr. (Screenshot from Toni Gonzaga Studio YouTube Channel)

Marcos said this in his interview with one of his biggest supporters: TV host and actress Toni Gonzaga aired over ALLTV on his 65th birthday on September 13.

According to the President, he was having a hard time taking a stand on the death penalty.

"The death penalty is a tough one because there is a practical issue and a moral issue involved," he said.

"And the question is, does society have the right to kill its own people? And that's a tough one to get around," he added.

Marcos likewise raised the question if bringing back the death penalty would actually work in discouraging crimes.

"As a practical matter, does the death penalty, actually, does it discourage people from committing heinous crimes? And I think the data, not only from the Philippines but from other countries, shows that we have to be very stringent about applying the law," he said.

Marcos' predecessor, former President Rodrigo Duterte, never missed calling on Congress to bring back the death penalty after it was scrapped twice since the creation of the 1987 Constitution.

Congress, however, did not deliver on Duterte's call.

The 1987 Constitution allows Congress to bring back capital punishment for heinous crimes. It was revived during the Ramos administration but was scrapped again under the Arroyo administration.

Under the Duterte Administration, the House Majority bloc voted to exclude plunder, rape, and treason from the list of crimes punishable with death.

The exclusion is supposed to help them arrive at a compromise after some lawmakers remained hesitant about voting in favor of House Bill No. 4727.

In 2017, President Duterte wondered why Congress decided to exclude plunder and rape from the list of crimes punishable by death under the said House Bill.

Duterte said that while he did not say he would not kill plunderers or corrupt officials, rape is still one of the most heinous crimes that should merit the heaviest penalty.

Malacañang had said that the reimposition of capital punishment is an important component in maintaining a crime-free and drug-free Philippines.