MANILA—Although against the reimposition of death penalty, a senator on Thursday said that prevalent heinous crimes such as the recent abduction and killing of a Korean businessman involving policemen could set a higher bar in which capital punishment could be reimposed.
“In terms of how dastardly a crime is, we are seeing examples of a higher bar in which death penalty, in the eyes of its advocates, could be imposed,” Senate Minority Ralph Recto said on Thursday.
“In principle I remain against capital punishment,” he added but noted that “cruelty and impunity inflicted in crimes” are “beginning to define what a super heinous crime that may be punishable by death is.”
Recto also said Senate debates on death penalty “will be infused with actual examples of heinous crimes in which the demand for a greater restitution is high.”
He cited heinous crimes such as kidnapping a minor, drugged, tortured, beaten, robbed, raped, killed and burned as having a “powerful emotional argument for death penalty.”
“It will go beyond theories and studies. Actual examples will be used by both sides. The pro will parade examples of heinous crimes. While the antis will cite successes of the power of rehabilitative justice,” Recto said.
“Those who will limit the scope of the bill that it only covers the truly monstrous and wicked acts, and install safeguards against abuses, and provisions for automatic review by the Supreme Court,” he added.
He meanwhile said that a needed companion measure of the death penalty bill is one to modernize the police force and reform the judicial system.
At present, the Senate remains “split” on favoring the imposition of death penalty.
Senators belonging to the Liberal Party (LP) previously said that they will not be voting in favor for the imposition of death penalty citing flaws in the country’s judicial system and belief that it would not deter crime.
Sen. Panfilo “Ping” Lacson and Sen. Sherwin “Win” Gatchalian have previously filed separate measures to revive death penalty.
Meanwhile, some other senators who have openly expressed being in favor of the reinstatement of death penalty include Senate Majority Leader Vicente “Tito” Sotto III and Senator Emmanuel “Manny” Pacquiao.
Senate Pres. Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III, ally and party-mate of Pres. Rodrigo Duterte, earlier said that he was also against death penalty but “keeps an open mind” to support the President.