Sotto doubts senators will support death penalty for plunder
MANILA, Philippines – While he supports the proposal to reimpose the death penalty on plunder convicts, Senate President Vicente Sotto III doubts whether the measure would gain enough support in the Senate.
Sotto made the statement on Wednesday, July 3, when asked about the chance of the bill seeking to reimpose capital punishment on those convicted of plunder.
"[Okay] sa'kin pero I doubt kung ma-convince namin iba to support more heinous crimes (It's okay for me but I doubt if we will be able to convince others to support more heinous crimes [to be covered])," Sotto said.
"Remember, the only way is to present a compelling reason in order to reimpose the death penalty. Otherwise, it will violate the Constitution," he added.
Go on Tuesday, July 2, authored by newbie Senator Bong Go filed Senate Bill Bo 207 seeking to reimpose the death penalty for illegal drugs and plunder cases. In including plunder as an offense punishable by death, Go said he was supporting President Rodrigo Duterte's bid to end corruption.
Sotto said in an interview with radio DZMM that death penalty for drug traffickers stood a better chance in the Senate.
"Kung meron mang may pag-asa, 'yung high-level drug trafficking lang. At ang sitwasyon ngayon, masasabi ko lang, nadagdagan 'yung boto in favor, so far," Sotto said.
(If there is hope, it's only for high-level drug trafficking. The situation now is that there are more votes in favor of it, so far.)
Sotto also said, however, that everything would still depend on the deliberation of the bills.
Aside from Go, Senator Manny Pacquaio had filed a bill seeking to reimpose the death penalty for illegal drug manufacturing and trafficking.
A total of 13 senators had expressed support for the reimposition of capital punishment. The others are Senators Sherwin Gatchalian, Cynthia Villar, Imee Marcos, Aquilino Pimentel III, Juan Edgardo Angara, Pia Cayetano, Bong Revilla, Francis Tolentino, Lito Lapid, and Ronald dela Rosa.