Dela Rosa confident death penalty bill will be approved

HAGONOY, Davao del Sur (MindaNews / 04 August) – Senator Ronald de la Rosa on Sunday said his bill proposing death penalty for drug traffickers stands a good chance of getting Congress’ approval compared to other bills restoring capital punishment not just for drug-related cases but also for heinous crimes and plunder.

He said the death penalty was rejected by the previous Congress because of sentiments that it was anti-poor.

Interviewed during the Dureza Cup 2019 shooting competition here, Dela Rosa said the death penalty is needed to curb the proliferation of illegal drugs.

Senator Ronald de la Rosa at the Dureza Cup 2019 shooting competition in Guihing, Hagonoy, Davao del Sur on Sunday, 04 August 2019. MindaNews photo by H. MARCOS C. MORDENO

He admitted that the illegal drug trade has continued to thrive despite the administration’s war on drugs which started under his stint as then director general of the Philippine National Police.

“If may death penalty, matatakot pumasok ang mga foreigners,” de la Rosa said.

In one televised debate among senatorial candidates for the midterm elections last May, de la Rosa said most of the shabu (crystal meth) shipment coming to the Philippines had come from China.

“It depends on the operational definition (of drug trafficking), but for me it would mean in the possession or selling of at least one kilo of shabu,” the senator, said when asked what would be considered drug trafficking under his proposal.

President Rodrigo Duterte urged Congress to restore the death penalty for illegal drugs and plunder during his fourth State of the Nation Address last month.

“We have not learned our lesson,” Duterte said, adding it was tons of shabu worth millions of pesos that funded the Marawi siege in 2017.

“Drugs will continue unless corruption is eliminated,” he said. “We have a long way to go against this social menace.”

Church leaders and human rights groups have opposed the death penalty, saying it puts poor suspects at a disadvantage and has not been proven to be a deterrent to crime. (H. Marcos C. Mordeno / MindaNews)