Strict enforcement of law, not death penalty, deters crime — Del Mar
Cebu City North District Representative Raul del Mar believes that the best way to deter crime is strict enforcement of the law and not the reimposition of death penalty.
“Our laws and justice system are there. Nobody would want to commit crime if the law is strictly enforced and if those violators are apprehended and punished,” he told Cebu Daily News.
Del Mar was one of the congressmen who filed the bill that seeks to abolish the death penalty.
In 2006, former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo signed the Republic Act 9346 or “An Act Prohibiting the Imposition of Death Penalty in the Philippines.”
Last Wednesday, the House justice committee voted 12–6 in favor of the reimposition of death penalty.
“Let me tell you. Of course I am against it (death penalty). We will continue to oppose that,” Del Mar said.
When asked why he decided to coauthor the bill abolishing the death penalty, he said death penalty is against the law of God and law of man.
“Being Catholics, we follow the Ten Commandments, including the sixth commandment, ‘Thou shalt not kill,’” he added.
Del Mar said the maximum penalty is still life imprisonment, which is worst than death sentence.
He also hoped that no innocent person would be put to death for a crime he did not commit.
“If proven later on with the presentation of new evidence that he is not guilty, then you can set him free. What if he is already dead? How can that be?” Del Mar added.
Crimes covered under the proposed death penalty are the following: treason; qualified piracy; qualified bribery; parricide; murder; infanticide; rape; kidnapping and serious illegal detention; robbery with violence against or intimidation of persons; destructive arson; plunder; importation of dangerous drugs and or controlled precursors and essential chemicals; sale, trading, administration, dispensation, delivery, distribution and transportation of dangerous drugs and/or controlled precursors and essential chemicals; maintenance of drug den; manufacture of dangerous drugs and/or controlled precursor and essential chemicals; possession of dangerous drugs; cultivation or culture of plants classified as dangerous drugs; unlawful prescription of dangerous drugs; public official who misappropriated or failed to account for the confiscated seized or surrendered drugs; planting evidence; and carnapping.
When asked about the allegations of extrajudicial killings against the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte, Del Mar said, “There are suspicions, but there must be evidence. We have to follow the rule of law.”
Last Thursday, the 11 senators who signed a joint committee report said they did not find proof of state-sponsored killings in the country.
If there are bases then an investigation must be conducted and if proven guilty, culprits must suffer the penalty.
“It may happen that only isolated cases are suspicious, but let us give them a benefit of the doubt,” Del Mar said.
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