Pacquiao, Bong Go file bills on death penalty for illegal drugs cases

Aika Rey
Pacquiao, Bong Go file bills on death penalty for illegal drugs cases
(UPDATED) Senator Christopher 'Bong' Go says he included plunder in his version of the death penalty bill because President Rodrigo Duterte is 'desperate' to end corruption

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Two senators on Tuesday, July 2, filed bills seeking to reinstate the death penalty for illegal drugs cases.

Senator Christopher “Bong” Go filed Senate Bill No. 207 which seeks to amend Republic Act (RA) No. 9346 which abolished death penalty in the country.

SB 207 seeks to imposed the punishment of death through lethal injection, reviving Republic Act No. 8177 which legalized this method of capital punishment.

“Sana po tulungan kami. Part ito ng continuing campaign ni Pangulong Duterte…Mahabang usapan ito. Ito na ang panahon, wala pong naglakas loob noon,” Go told reporters after filing his 10 pet bills on Tuesday.

(I hope we get support. This is part of the continuing campaign of President Duterte…. This will be deliberated thoroughly. This is the right time, because nobody was brave enough before.)

Go said he included plunder as a crime punishable by because the President was “desperate” to end corruption.

He said that he would be open to deliberations on the bill, particularly on the quantity of illegal drugs involved and the amount of money that would qualify for crimes punishable with death.

Under RA 7080 which defined plunder, any public officer who acquired ill-gotten wealth amounting to a total of at least P50 million shall be guilty of plunder and punished by life imprisonment.

Also on Tuesday, Senator Manny Pacquiao filed SB 189 seeking to reimpose the death penalty for cases involving illegal drug manufacturing and trafficking.

His version of the death penalty bill also seeks to amend Article II Section 4 of RA 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002, to increase the penalties for violating importation, selling of illegal drugs, and maintenance of a drug den.

Top cop-turned-senator Ronald dela Rosa earlier expressed intention to file a bill reinstating death penalty, but only for high-level drug traffickers. He has yet to file his bills, as filing is according to seniority.

So far, 10 other senators have earlier expressed support for its reimposition: Senate President Vicente Sotto III, Sherwin Gatchalian, Cynthia Villar, Imee Marcos, Aquilino Pimentel III, Juan Edgardo Angara, Pia Cayetano, Bong Revilla, Francis Tolentino, and Lito Lapid.

Senators Grace Poe and Nancy Binay are against it.

The 17th Congress senators rejected the passage of the bill, while the House of Representatives passed it on third and final reading. – Rappler.com

Aika Rey

Aika Rey is a business reporter for Rappler. She covered the Senate of the Philippines before fully diving into numbers and companies. Got tips? Find her on Twitter at @reyaika or shoot her an email at aika.rey@rappler.com.