Bato seeks death by firing squad vs drug traffickers

Cecille Suerte Felipe - The Philippine Star
Bato seeks death by firing squad vs drug traffickers
Dela Rosa clarified he would not insist on the firing squad as penalty, saying he will still submit to the decision of the majority in the 18th Congress.
Geremy Pintolo

MANILA, Philippines — Sen. Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa is pushing for the imposition of the death penalty by firing squad against drug lords who continue to engage in the illegal drug trade despite the government’s anti-drug war.

Dela Rosa clarified he would not insist on the firing squad as penalty, saying he will still submit to the decision of the majority in the 18th Congress.

He said the death penalty will be a big help, noting that when he was head of the Bureau of Corrections, convicted drug traffickers told him they prefer the Philippines because there is no death penalty here.

During the Kapihan sa Senado forum yesterday, Bato also said he preferred death penalty by firing squad and this be done in public. 

As to the Church and pro-life groups that oppose the death penalty, he said even the Bible has verses about the death penalty. He hoped the Church will understand that his version of the death penalty bill will only be for drug trafficking.

He said the firing squad should be done in public – such as in Luneta (Rizal park) – so that media can cover it, but children who might see the process should have parental guidance.  

His bill on death penalty brings to three the number of measures seeking to impose capital punishment against drug traffickers. The two others were filed by Sen. Panfilo Lacson and Sen. Manny Pacquiao.

Lacson’s death penalty bill include the offenses of illegal drugs, plunder, rape, murder, treason, qualified piracy, qualified bribery, parricide, infanticide, destructive arson, terrorism, human trafficking and arms smuggling.

Pacquiao is proposing that importation of dangerous drugs and/or controlled precursors and essential chemicals be given the penalty of life imprisonment to death and a fine ranging from Pl million to P10 million.

He said the penalty of life imprisonment to death and a fine ranging from P500,000 to P1 million should be imposed against those who coddle or protect drug traffickers.

“Trading, administration, dispensation, delivery, distribution and transportation of dangerous drugs should be penalized with life imprisonment to death and a fine of P1 million to P10 million,” Pacquiao said.

Based on the latest report of the Philippine National Police and Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, Dela Rosa said there are 5,176 drug personalities who died in anti-drug operations; 170,689 arrested; P25.9 billion worth of drugs and equipment seized and 301 drug dens and laboratories dismantled.

Stricter anti-terror law pushed

Last week’s suicide bombing in Sulu prompted reelected Rep. Jericho Nograles of party-list group Puwersa ng Bayaning Atleta yesterday to urge the incoming 18th Congress to pass a stricter law against terrorism.

“The Sulu blast could be a foreboding sign that suicide bombing is now becoming a weapon of choice for Muslim extremists in the country, especially in Mindanao,” he said.

He called for amending an existing security law to make it stricter by plugging loopholes that he said terrorists, their supporters and financiers exploit.

“Congress should prioritize national security legislation such as amending Republic Act 9372 or the Human Security Act of 2007. Our armed forces and police cannot fully protect us without the law enabling them to do so,” he said. 

Nograles lamented that the law does not contain “provisions on cyber-terrorism but there are penalties against law enforcers if they arrest or detain a cyber-terrorist.” ?He said Sulu has lately been the playground of foreign terrorists who were behind the Mt. Carmel Cathedral bombing earlier this year. 

“Foreign terrorists come to our country either through the backdoor or the airports. I think the Anti-Terrorism Council should order a prompt and full review of the existing protocols defending our nation against terrorists and submit to Congress what changes are needed in RA 9372,” he said.?He said last Friday’s suicide bombing attacks at an Army command post in Tanjung, Indanan Sulu that killed eight people and injured 22 others “could be a precursor of more similar attacks.”

Nograles cited reports that one detonated his bomb when Army personnel manning a checkpoint accosted him.  

After the first explosion, a second suicide bomber reportedly rushed inside the command post and set off the bomb he was carrying. 

One of the terrorists was a Filipino.?Nograles condemned the attacks as he urged security forces to increase their vigilance.

He said the bombings are an embarrassment for them, especially since they are implementers of martial law in Mindanao.

He also called for the people’s cooperation in stopping acts of terrorism.

He noted that Friday’s blasts were the third suicide attack in Mindanao in a year: the first by a Moroccan in Lamitan, Basilan in July 2018 and the Mt. Carmen Cathedral bombing in Jolo in January this year carried out by Indonesian nationals.

Meanwhile, Sen. Francis Pangilinan filed a bill seeking to phase out single-use plastic products by prohibiting its importation, manufacture and use in food establishments, stores, markets and retailers.

Senate Bill 40 or the Single-Use Plastics Regulation and Management Act of 2019 seeks to ban all single-use plastics one year after the effectivity of the measure and to penalize those who will not enforce it.

Those who will re-use and recycle will receive an incentive.

Pangilinan said the bill defines single-use plastics as disposable plastics which are commonly used for plastic packaging and include items intended to be used only once before they are thrown away or recycled. These include items such as grocery bags, food packaging, films and bags, water bottles, straws, stirrers, containers, styrofoam/styros, cups, sachets and plastic cutlery.

Pangilinan cited a 2015 study by the United Nations Environment Program that showed that 81 percent of the more than six million kilos of plastic waste per day in the country is mismanaged.  – With Jess Diaz


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