AT least two senatorial candidates of Hugpong ng Pagbabago want the revival of the death penalty for drug trafficking and possession.
Both Francis Tolentino and Maguindanao Rep. Zajid “Dong” Mangudadatu believe that capital punishment can help stem the drug trade particularly the operation here of international syndicates.
Tolentino, the former presidential political adviser and chairman of MMDA, proposed the execution not only of drug traffickers but also of the source of narcotics and those involved in facilitating drug smuggling into the country.
“Nakakabahala nga na dumadami ang high value entries ng illegal drug sa atin. Siguro dapat ibalik na ang death penalty,” Tolentino said in an interview.
Reacting to the recovery of large narcotics shipments in Siargao and Dinagat, Tolentino said the “high value entries of illegal drugs” should prompt the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency and the Philippine Coast Guard to step up their operations and be more vigilant.
“Not just the traffickers pati yung source, pati ang nag-facilitate, they are considered traffickers, nagpalusot ka trafficker ka na din,” he added.
For his part, Mangudadatu expressed disappointment that Mindanao is now being used as entry point of illegal drugs.
Mangudadatu said the non-imposition of the death sentence in the Philippines has given narcotics sources the boldness to operate here.
“No death penalty, no problem. That’s how drug traffickers see the situation here,” he said in a separate interview.
The Death Penalty Bill was approved in the House but is still pending in the Senate.
A recent Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey found that if there are other alternatives, fewer people agree with reinstating the death penalty for those who commit serious crimes related to illegal drugs.
Results of the March 2018 SWS survey showed that less than 40 percent of Filipinos believe that the death penalty should be the punishment for people convicted of crimes related to illegal drugs.