During his confirmation hearing before lawmakers in the Commission on Appointments yesterday, Foreign Affairs secretary Perfecto Yasay said that the Philippines is preparing for any international backlash in case death penalty was reinstated.
In his statement, Yasay pointed out the country’s commitment with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) where the country should not adopt the death penalty.
“But there is our involvement in this convention where if we will reinstate the death penalty, it could result in some negative repercussions where we might be forced out of that situation as member and signatory to that convention,” Yasay said, referring to the ICCPR.
“But this is something that is way down the road, we are now preparing our response, in the event that Congress is able to come up with a decision on whether or not to reinstate the death penalty,” he said.
Yasay also pointed out that there are members who are also members of the Human Rights Council. In fact, in the ASEAN, only Cambodia and the Philippines are the countries who still don’t use death penalty.
Although the Congress had already reached a consensus regarding the matter, it may not be the same with the Senate. As of the moment, there are ten senators who are not in favor of reinstating death penalty.
According to House Majority Leader Rodolfo Fariñas, even if the law approved of this, it is possible that Duterte would not be able to use it during the rest of his term due to the long and technical process of convicting an offender.
Conviction takes at least four to five years as it follows a process of reviews from higher courts until the Supreme Court hands out a verdict.
It is unlikely for Duterte to be able to execute anyone who is currently serving his or her sentence in New Bilibid Prisons either.