The online news portal of TV5
MANILA, Philippines - Amid the clamor for the reimposition of the death penalty for heinous crimes, Senator Francis “Chiz” Escudero on Monday said capital punishment will not deter the likes of former general Jovito Palparan and the Reyes brothers - all accused for the cold-blooded murders of activists and journalists - from committing them.
“Even if the death penalty were in place, criminals, especially the moneyed ones, will still find creative ways to escape the law. The likes of Jovito Palparan, charged with a non-bailable offense, the Reyes brothers of Palawan accused as masterminds in the death of a journalist and environmental advocate, and Delfin Lee, said to have bilked thousands of poor housing aspirants, where are they? They can afford to hire good, expensive lawyers to keep them out of jail and outside the reach of the law,” Escudero said.
The senator, who heads the Senate justice and human rights committee, said that there is no reason to reinstate the death penalty amid calls for its reimposition following a spate of gun-related murders in the country.
“The death penalty will not stop miscreants from carrying out their crimes. I have always said that it is still the certainty of punishment, not its severity, that will deter crimes,” he said.
The senator, who voted to remove the death penalty from the country’s statute books in 1990, said the other factors that deter crime are: proper application of the law and protection of witnesses by government law enforcement agents.
“Let no one go above or around the law. Let there be no sacred cows. Apply the law to those who are guilty or have been found guilty. We have to improve and perfect our country’s criminal justice system. It should be strictly applied to make it valid and credible,” Escudero said.