MANILA - An anti-corruption commissioner on Saturday said there is a need to impose capital punishment for corrupt officials, days after President Rodrigo Duterte called for the reinstatement of the death penalty for drug convicts.
Commissioner Greco Belgica of the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission said corruption should be “treated as a heinous crime” which warrants the death penalty.
“It should be treated as heinous crimes, kailangan po natin mailagay sa batas na ibalik ang death penalty for drug-related cases. Also sunod itulak ay patawan ng kamatayan ang mga nai-involve sa corruption,” Belgica said in a briefing on state-run PTV.
(We need to revive death penalty for drug-related cases. But next, we should push for capital punishment for those involved in corruption.)
Duterte, in his State of the Nation Address on July 27, renewed his push for the reimposition of death penalty for crimes related to illegal drugs by lethal injection.
Belgica said such punishment may be applied for corrupt officials, adding that it has “perpetual effects” on the people.
“Corruption talaga po is as bad as murder and as bad as drugs dahil ang effect po ay perpetual (the effect is perpetual). When you institutionalize corruption through law, buong bayan po naghihirap and minsan mas madali mamatay kahit mahirap mabuhay 'di ba (the whole nation will suffer and sometimes people think that it’s easier to die rather than live in suffering, right)?” Belgica said.
He added: “Kaya kailangan pinapatay po 'yan, ang mga corrupt kailangang mapatay po 'yan after of course investigation. 'Yung mga tao, corrupt na tao sa gobyerno habang nandiyan sila naghihirap ang libo-libong tao (This is why they should be killed, after of course investigation. While corrupt people are in the government, thousands will suffer) we have to institute penalties with crimes committed.”
Death penalty was abolished in the Philippines in 2006 under then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s term.
Rights groups have already expressed alarm over the return of capital punishment, saying it does not deter people from committing crime and mostly affects people living in poverty.
Senate President Vicente Sotto III earlier said the death penalty should be revived only as punishment for top-tier drug convicts.
Sen. Sonny Angara, meanwhile, said he wanted to see "compelling evidence" that capital punishment indeed deters crimes.