Duterte: Bring back death penalty so I can hang criminals

DAVAO CITY, Philippines – For the second time in two days, President-elect Rodrigo Duterte emphasized his wish to bring back the death penalty to the Philippines.

“That’s why I am asking for the reinstatement of the death penalty so that I can hang them,” said Duterte, referring to criminals. 

He spoke at the turn-over of command ceremony of the Davao City Police on Friday, June 24.

Watch his speech here:

He blasted critics of the death penalty, whom he called “bleeding hearts” for seeing capital punishment as merely a “corrective measure”, He had expressed the same sentiment the previous day at the oath-taking of Senator Manny Pacquiao in Sarangani.

Duterte said the death penalty was not effective as a deterrence in previous administrations because it was seldom used as punishment.

“Despite the fact that there is the death penalty law at that time, it never deterred the criminals from committing their acts. But of course, because they never implemented the law. Wala ngang pinapatay so paano sila ma-deter (No one was being killed so how will anyone be deterred)?” he said.

Criminals can be sure Duterte as president will use the death penalty once it is reinstated. He said he will use it for those who commit drug-related and heinous crimes. 

The power of the death penalty to instill fear in criminals isn’t why Duterte wants it back. It’s simply because the death penalty wipes criminals from the face of the earth.

Dito hindi ka na kailangan matakot. Talagang mamamatay ka. (You don’t need to get scared. You will really die.) Because this part of the law says, this is retribution. Magbayad ka sa ginawa mo (You pay for what you did),” said Duterte.

He criticized those who prefer the supposed status quo in which criminals flood jails and even commit crimes like drug-dealing from inside their cells. 

Duterte said that while the death penalty strikes many as “inhuman”, it is the fitting punishment for crimes just as “inhuman” like rape and the murder of infants.

Dito, one-year-old, 3 months old, nire-rape pinapatay, anak ka ng...Tapos sabihin nila huwag ‘yang death penalty kasi inhuman? Ano pa bang makita kong humane killing and raping your own child?” he said.

(There are one-year-olds, three-month-old children who are raped and killed. Son of a...Then you tell me death penalty is inhuman? When have I ever seen a humane killing and raping of your own child?)

The death penalty was suspended in 2006 under the administration of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. That was the second time it was suspended, the first being in 1987. It was President Fidel V. Ramos who restored it in 1996.

The return of the death penalty will require the passage of a law by Congress. – Rappler.com

Pia Ranada

Pia Ranada covers the Office of the President and Bangsamoro regional issues for Rappler. While helping out with desk duties, she also watches the environment sector and the local government of Quezon City. For tips or story suggestions, you can reach her at pia.ranada@rappler.com.