MANILA, Philippines – New Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa said he wants the revival and expansion of the death penalty for people who will be convicted for any involvement with illegal drugs.
It doesn't matter whether the guilty just possessed illegal drugs or managed a drug empire, Dela Rosa believes they should go straight to their death beds.
"Basta lahat na pertaining to drugs, dapat lahat tapusin na 'yan. Gusto ko rin matapos 'yang problema sa drugs. Ganoon dapat ka-istrikto pagdating sa drugs," he said in an interview broadcast on Friday, May 11.
(Everything pertaining to drugs, we have to end them. I also want to end the problem with drugs. It should be that strict when it comes to drugs.)
Dela Rosa was asked for his position on the provision, now that he watches over convicted drug lords and crime kingpins as BuCor chief.
But Dela Rosa wants all drug convicts to be punished. When asked if those caught carrying small amounts of illegal drugs also deserved to be executed, he said yes.
Dela Rosa is all too familiar with the crime of illegal possession of narcotics, as he used to be the face of the Duterte administration's anti-illegal drug campaign. (READ: How an 'outdated' law is preventing PH drug war victory)
Now, as the highest guard of the national penitentiary, Dela Rosa said imposing the death penalty would decongest the packed jails he now handles.
"Sino pa babantayan namin dito sa Building 14 kung pagka-convict nila diretso nang lethal injection, 'di ba? Wala ka na babantayan na drug lord, diretso na lethal injection," Dela Rosa said.
(Who will we guard here at Building 14, if those convicted go straight to lethal injection, right? You don't have to guard any more drug lords if they go straight to lethal injection.)
Dela Rosa's disclaimer: As a disclaimer, Dela Rosa said that in the end, the death penalty issue is not for him to decide.
"Depende sa batas na gagawin nila (Kongreso). Basta drugs, kung ako masusunod ha (It depends on what kind of law Congress will pass. But if it were up to me, as long as it involves drugs)," Dela Rosa said.
He made the disclaimer just days after he announced that he wants to become a lawmaker himself.
He said in his interview with Rappler that he will fight for death penalty should he win a Senate seat. – Rappler.com
Rambo Talabong covers the House of Representatives and local governments for Rappler. Prior to this, he covered security and crime. He was named Jaime V. Ongpin Fellow in 2019 for his reporting on President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs. In 2021, he was selected as a journalism fellow by the Fellowships at Auschwitz for the Study of Professional Ethics.