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Sotto sees chance of death penalty for high-level drug traffickers.

By Vanne Elaine Terrazola

The proposed reimposition of the death penalty for high-level illegal drug trafficking might have a chance in the 18th Congress, Senate President Vicente Sotto III said Wednesday.

While the reinstatement of capital punishment is gaining support in Senate, Sotto said the possibility of its approval would be higher if it was limited to only high-level drug traffickers.

"Ang tingin ko, kung meron mang may pag-asa, yung high-level drug trafficking lang. Ang sitwasyon ngayon, masasabi ko lang, nadagdagan yung boto in favor, so far. Depende pa 'yon sa deliberasyon, tingnan pa natin kung kakayanin o hindi. Pero sa akin mas kumportable ako na malamang malaki ang pag-asa kung high-level drug trafficking lang ang reimposition ng death penalty (I think, the death penalty would have a chance if it would only be for high-level drug trafficking. The situation now is that more senators are in favor. But it will depend on our deliberation. But I am more comfortable saying that it would have more chance if we limit the reimposition of death penalty to high-level drug trafficking)," Sotto said in an interview over radio DZMM.

The Senate leader filed a bill in the 17th Congress pushing to penalize big-time drug lords, pushers and manufacturers of illegal drugs. He has yet to refile the measure.

Death penalty bills languished in the Committee on Justice and Human Rights led by Sen. Richard Gordon. In the 18th Congress, it is expected to get a boost from neophyte and returning senators.

Sotto said imposing capital punishment for high-level drug trafficking could serve as the government's "defense mechanism" against international drug syndicates manufacturers that operate in the Philippines.

"Para doon sa nagmamanufacture dito sa atin, na imbis na takot sa Indonesia, takot sa China, takot sa Singapore, Malaysia, takot sila doon, may death penalty sila doon.

Dito nagmamanufacture ang mga loko. Eh 'di ilagay din natin 'yong atin para matakot sila at pwede talagang mayari sila doon (This measure is for those who manufacture drugs here in our country. They are afraid to operate in Indonesia, China, Singapore, Malaysia because these countries implement death penalty. We don't have a death penalty so they manufacture here. Why don't we impose our own so that they would be afraid and we can really go after them)," he said.

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Sen. Vicente Sotto III (Senate of the Philippines / MANILA BULLETIN)

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Title Annotation:National
Publication:Manila Bulletin
Date:Jul 3, 2019
Words:395
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