Desperate times call for desperate measures. Is there no hope at all that we have to resort to the restoration of the death penalty?
The Philippines is a nation of religious people. Christian account for 94% of the population (with 86% Catholics). We also have Muslims accounting for 4% of the population. The last 2% includes practitioners of Buddhism, Taoism, and Confucianism.
On religious basis alone, you’d think that everyone here would oppose the death penalty. But polls conducted by Inquirer showed otherwise.
POLL: Bring back the Death Penalty in the Philippines? #Duterte #capitalpunishment #VotePH2016
— Inquirer (@inquirerdotnet) May 16, 2016
Duterte Wants Death Penalty Restored
Republic Act No. 7659 or the Death Penalty Law is currently suspended since 2006. But as of today, it appears that the restoration of the death penalty has a high chance of becoming a reality. Even if the congress decided to defer the approval to early next year, it looks like a done deal.
The heinous crimes covered by the bill includes:
2. Qualified piracy
3. Qualified bribery
7. Kidnapping and serious illegal detention
8. Robbery with violence
9. Destructive arson
12. Importation of dangerous drugs and paraphernalia
13. Sale, trading, distribution, and transportation of dangerous drugs, maintenance of a drug den. Manufacturing of dangerous drugs and cultivation or culture of plants classified as dangerous drugs.
Since the election campaign started, Rodrigo Duterte has been vocal and clear. He wants the death penalty restored.
Of course, human rights groups are opposing the restoration of capital punishment.
In a letter to the Philippine Congress, Brads Adams of Human Rights Watch had this to say:
“There is no evidence of the effectiveness of the death penalty in deterring the use, cultivation, manufacturing, and trafficking of drugs.”
Deterrent or Punishment?
What is the purpose of the death penalty? It is my impression that there are two arguments used against restoring the death penalty.
One is that it has not proven to be an effective deterrent to heinous crimes. Another is that the criminal justice system is not reliable. In both cases, I have to agree. But does that mean I am opposing the death penalty?
Critics of Duterte say his administration has been imposing death on the streets. There are almost 6,000 people killed since July 1, victims of extrajudicial killings.
If there are already that many people executed, do we still need the death penalty? To be fair, I believe not all the killings were a result of summary executions. Even so, the numbers are staggering.
Steve Chao gives us an inside look into Rodrigo Duterte in this video from Al Jazeera.
At no time in the history of the Philippines were there so many polarizing issues as it is today. Although there are other important issues, the war on drugs and summary executions are on top.
When I look at the list of heinous crimes from the comfort of my home, it’s easy to pick one side over the other. Let’s take murder, for instance. From the word, itself, a murder is a murder. But what makes one different from another is the manner.
And let me tell you this too, it is the intention of the murder that sometimes no sane person could comprehend.
I can see the merits of the arguments of those who oppose the death penalty. It’s true. Even with the death penalty, that does not mean crime is not going to happen. And what about wrongful convictions, especially when sentenced to die?
The Worst Pedophile in History
Everything changed after the arrest and the horrors of what he had done became known. Peter Scully might as well be the worst pedophile ever.
Peter directed a video (Daisy’s Destruction) involving child sex and torture. His victims were young children including an 18-month old baby. Then he sells the video on the dark web for thousands of dollars to customers in USA and Europe. Police working the case describes the film as the most disturbing and horrifying video ever created.
I have never seen the video myself and I sure hope the authorities are taking it down wherever it appears. From what I understand, the acts in the video are too brutal to even describe in words.
Here is Tara Brown’s report on the manhunt for Peter Scully.
A series of crimes that are beyond comprehension and you have people crying for the death penalty. This man deserves no pity. If you watched the video, this fuck has all but admitted to his crimes. And he still pleads NOT GUILTY, which means the victims need to testify in court.
Horrors and Hope
With a polarizing issue, such as the restoration of the death penalty, it is hope, or the lack of, that becomes the deciding factor. Everything else takes a backseat. One could argue for and against the merits of imposing death. But like religion, it’s a never-ending debate.
We all understand that mistakes can happen and people do deserve a second chance. But what if the mistake is something so horrific that we, who hear whispers about it, becomes tormented?