Abante urges House to revive death penalty

Bienvenido Abante Jr.
House Minority Leader and Manila Rep. Bienvenido “Benny” Abante Jr.

HOUSE Minority Leader and Manila Rep. Bienvenido “Benny” Abante Jr. has argued forcefully for the reimposition of the death penalty, and called on his colleagues in the House of Representatives to revive capital punishment for crimes specified under the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.

Abante, author of House Bill (HB) 1588, stressed that he is a supporter of the death penalty, “in defense of human life, honor and dignity, preservation of peace and order in society, and respect for law and authority.”

“The death penalty is a right given to the State to correct a heinous wrong, that has been committed, not only against the victim, but against the State and society,” said Abante.

“A person who commits a heinous crime exhibits a depravity that forfeits his very existence in this society.”

According to the solon, history and religion has allowed the imposition of capital punishment, and that the Bible “tells us about the principle of sowing and reaping, as well as the injunction on justice.”

In his sponsorship speech, Abante countered the arguments that led to the abolition of the death penalties, and explained that the death penalty “proceeds from justice, not rehabilitation, in behalf of the State and innocent victims.”

“I would submit that there is no more chance of rehabilitation of the convict as the State will take his life. I would also submit that they are entitled to human rights. To those who uses this argument, I ask: How about the innocent victims who lost their human right to live and to use and enjoy their God-given gifts and freedom, and to enjoy the blessings of God, of democracy, and of a peaceful and orderly society?”

The legislator also argued that the reimposition of the death penalty “is the end-result and fair administration of justice.”

Abante pointed out that existing laws, rules and regulations provide adequate safeguards to persons accused of a crimes, more so when the imposable penalty is death, as the convict is guaranteed the right to appeal from the trial court up to the Supreme Court, and until the Office of the President.

The representative from Manila also argued that the death penalty is a deterrent, as the delayed execution of penalties “tends to induce more wrongdoings.”

“We are living witnesses to the case of convicted drug lords/drug pushers/drug traffickers who, while inside the National Penitentiary, with the government spending much needed public funds for their food, shelter, safety, health, and security, continue with their illegal and immoral trade, resulting in the further commission of heinous crimes and the destruction especially of our youth who are (supposed to be) the HOPE of our Fatherland.”

Emphasizing that the death penalty was neither cruel nor immoral, the lawmaker reiterated that “society must protect itself against an enemy by taking his life in retribution for his offense and as an example and warning to others.”

“The death penalty serves the two-fold ends of criminal legislation which are the prevention of a repetition of the offense committed and a warning to others similarly inclined.”

Among the crimes that would be penalized with the death penalty under HB No. 1588 are treason, qualified piracy, rebellion or insurrection, coup d’etat, parricide, murder, rape, plunder, and drug-related cases.