Senator Ronald ‘Bato’ Dela Rosa, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Public Order and Dangerous Drugs, has renewed calls to revive the death penalty in the country. He, as well as six other senators, filed separate bills which seek for its reimposition.
Dela Rosa expressed his frustration as well as the urgency of tackling the pending bills on Death Penalty, which were referred to the Committee on Justice and Human Rights headed by Senator Richard Gordon during the beginning of the 18th Congress in July of 2019.
“Dapat magkaroon na ng senate hearing doon sa mga bill na yun, dahil all those bills were filed at the start of the 18th Congress, so ilang taon na ‘yan dyan, di pa umuusad. Wala pang nangyaring hearing, maybe, baka ayaw ng nasa committee na ‘yan ng death penalty, but to think that there were seven of us senators ah, Senate President Tito Sotto, Senator Lacson, Senator Imee Marcos, Senator Bong Revilla, Senator Gatchalian, Senator Bong Go at ako. So, seven of us filed our separate versions of death penalty bills, and pag na-hear ito, sigurado akong iku-condisder ‘yung kanilang version, plus [yung] akin na drug version, so magkakaroon yan ng substitute bill na ipe-present ng committee during the committee report,” Dela Rosa said.
Dela Rosa clarified that he does not intend to amend his bill to include heinous crimes as it is the main contention of the oppositors of the death penalty, but he believes that the hearings will open the discussion on the crimes to be considered for its implementation. His proposed death penalty bill only covers high level drug traffickers.
“Ayaw ko, I didn’t want to include murder and other heinous crimes dahil nga ‘yan yung contention ng mga oppositor, na pwedeng yung mga suspect dahil nga mahirap, hindi maka laban sa korte. Talo, so justice denied para sa kanila. Pero with that kind of incident, siguro ma-amend natin yun mga bill na yan na during the debates, baka pwedeng isaksak na pag ikaw ay isang pulis dahil aggravating circumstance yun eh, pulis ka, may chapa ka, may baril ka, at ikaw pa ang mag-engage sa cold-blooded killing, papatayin mo yung mga unarmed, helpless civilians so pwede siguro idagdag natin doon during the debates,” Dela Rosa explained.
When asked on his thoughts in imposing the capital punishment on Police Master Sargeant Jonel Nuezca, who shot dead two unarmed civilians, 52-year-old Sonya Gregorio and her 25-year-old son Frank Anthony Gregorio, in Paniqui town over the weekend, Dela Rosa agreed.
“Yes, deep in my heart, alam ko dapat death penalty ang parusa sa kanya (Nuezca) dahil very cold-blooded killing yun, I don’t see enough provocation on the part of the victims. Sobra-sobra yung ginawa niya,” Dela Rosa noted.
Dela Rosa also said that the recent killing is most likely drug related and highlights the need to impose capital punishment on big time drug personalities.
“Tingnan mo yung background ni Nuezca, he was already charged for evading a drug testing, so meaning adik yung tao na yun! Bakit ka umiiwas sa drug testing kung hindi ka adik? Yung ganun na aksyon, sigurado ako apektado sa drugs yung utak ng tao na yun. Di man siya high that time, yung kanyang decision making apektado sa pagte-take niya ng droga so pasok pa rin sa bill ko dahil kung walang papasok na droga, walang pulis na ganun ka-sira ang ulo,” Dela Rosa said.
The senator from Davao claimed that the incident involving Nuezca is an isolated case and does not reflect the entire PNP organization. “Gaya sa sinabi ni Secretary Año na isolated case yan, please do not judge the profession, judge the person. Kasi kung profession ang ija-judge mo, halimbawa point something percent lang yan [of the police population], mga siraulong pulis na yan. Karamihan ay gumagawa ng matino, kawawa naman madadamay yung buong organisasyon, ‘di ba? Di lang naman drug suspects ang namatay, ang dami ding pulis na namatay, ‘di ba?”
On the alleged culture of impunity, Dela Rosa stressed, “No, I don’t believe that, ginagamit lang yan ng mga critics na gustong sirain yun gobyerno natin. Sige nga mag-interview ka dyan ng mga pulis kung sino pulis dyan na gustong pumatay? Wala naman pulis dyan na gustong pumatay.” SENATE.GOV.PH