Imee Marcos changes mind, now backs death penalty for some crimes

Dharel Placido, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 25 2019 11:44 AM | Updated as of Jul 25 2019 04:15 PM

MANILA - Sen. Imee Marcos on Thursday said she now supports a “limited” imposition of death penalty, changing her position when she was still a member of the House of Representatives.

President Rodrigo Duterte on his fourth State of the Nation Address renewed his call to restore the death penalty for heinous crimes related to drugs and corruption.

Marcos, a Duterte supporter, agreed that times have changed and the reimposition of death penalty may now be justified.

“We have witnessed levels of brutality and extreme violence that are nowhere near the apprehension of the Revised Penal Code,” she said in a forum.

Marcos, however, said death penalty must only be imposed on a “very limited” list of crimes, where the “number of victims, level of violence, and social impact” would be considered.

She recalled that when she was still an Ilocos Norte representative, she was among those who called for the abolition of death penalty.

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The death penalty was abolished in the Philippines in 2006, during the time of then president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, a Duterte ally.

Duterte has been hoping to reinstate the death penalty in the Philippines, where nearly 80 percent of its population is made up of Catholics, as he wages his war on illegal drugs and pursues an anti-crime campaign.

The Senate minority bloc, led by Sen. Franklin Drilon, has vowed to fight efforts to revive death penalty.

Several senators have their respective bills seeking the revival of death penalty.

Sen. Ronald "Bato" Dela Rosa’s bill imposes death as maximum penalty only for the importation and manufacture of illegal drugs and its precursors.

Sen. Panfilo Lacson, on the other hand, seeks death penalty for a slew of crimes including illegal drug crimes, qualified piracy, qualified bribery, parricide, murder, rape, kidnapping and serious illegal detention, destructive arson, plunder, terrorism, human trafficking, and arms smuggling.

Senators Manny Pacquiao and Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go have also filed similar bills, while Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian also plans to submit his own version.

Senate President Vicente Sotto III had said the chance of reviving the death penalty is now higher under the 18th Congress as long as it would be imposed on “high-level” drug traffickers.