Are drug crimes punishable by death? Nearly half of Pinoys give the wrong answer – SWS

October 3, 2017 - 4:10 PM
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The lethal injection chamber at the New Bilibid Prison. (Reuters)

MANILA, Philippines — Notwithstanding the abolition of capital punishment in 2006, nearly half of Filipinos mistakenly believe drug use is punishable by death and even more, almost 60 percent, believe this of drug peddling, results of a recent survey by the Social Weather Stations showed.

Aside from this, 56 percent of respondents also admitted not knowing of the rehabilitation program for surrendered drug suspects.

The Second Quarter 2017 Social Weather Survey conducted from June 23 to 26 is the same poll where 63 percent of respondents believed surrendered drug suspects were “salvaged” or summarily executed, and 3 of 5 said only the poor are targeted in the government’s war on drugs.

WATCH | ‘SUMUKO NA, PINATAY PA’: 63 pct of Pinoys believe some drug suspects were ‘salvaged’ – SWS

SWS: 3 of 5 Pinoys agree ‘only poor drug pushers are getting killed’

The non-commissioned survey, undertaken as a public service, involved face-to-face interviews with 1,200 adults nationwide (300 each in Metro Manila, Balance of Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao) and has sampling error margins of ±3% for national percentages, and ±6% each for Metro Manila, Balance of Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao.

When questioned on their knowledge of capital punishment and drug offenses, SWS said 47 percent of the respondents said drug use was punishable by death, while 53 percent “correctly responded that it is not true.”

On the other hand, 59 percent “mistakenly believe that the selling of illegal drugs is punishable by death.”

“Metro Manila had the lowest proportion of respondents who believed that illegal drug use is punishable by death, with 39 percent saying it is true. This is followed by the rest of Luzon with 44 percent, and the Visayas and Mindanao, each with 52 percent.

But SWS said the survey “no by-area differences in terms of the belief that selling illegal drugs is punishable by death,” with 61 percent in the Visayas, 59 percent in Metro Manila, and 58 percent each in Balance Luzon and Mindanao [Chart 4].

Asked if they knew of actual rehabilitation programs for surrendered drug suspects, SWS said 56 percent did not know of any and only 44 percent said they did. Awareness was highest in Metro Manila where 62 percent of respondents knew of rehabilitation programs. This was only 43 percent in Balance Luzon and 40 percent each in the Visayas and Mindanao.