Six bets reject death penalty
Mitchelle L. Palaubsanon (The Freeman) - March 26, 2019 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — Six senatorial bets are not in favor of the re-imposition of the death penalty, contending that this is an “anti-poor” proposal.

In yesterday Mega Cebu’s Senatorial Candidate Forum, senatoriables Chel Diokno, Pilo Hilbay, Erin Tañada, Neri Colmenares, Leody de Guzman and Samira Gutoc have thumbed down the move.

Gutoc believes the primacy of life and with congestion in jail and our justice system needs to be corrected.

“Abuse and misabused can be perpetuated by our authorities. So, I say no to death penalty,” said Gutoc.

Tañada is also opposing the proposal because of the country’s flawed justice system and that the poor accused cannot afford to hire the best lawyers but would have to settle with lawyers from the Philippine Attorney’s Office (PAO).

He said those in PAO are not incompetent, but very overworked due to heavy workload and have no more time or have little time  to research on the cases.

Hilbay, for his part, said that he is against the death penalty but for an efficient and credible justice system.

“Death penalty is not a deterrent. Ang mamamatay lamang ay ang mahihirap at walang sala,” said Hilbay.

Diokno said that most of those who are sentenced to death penalty were poor and wrongly convicted.

“Only God gave us life and only God can take it away,” said Diokno.

De Guzman also said that our justice system is not that perfect and mostly it is the poor people who are hanged to death.

“Dapat maging maayos ang ating justice system. Justice system na hindi pera. Dahil kung may pera ka, ligtas ka. Pero kung wala kang pera, bitay ka,” said de Guzman.

Colmenares considered the death penalty as a penalty trap.

“Death penalty is anti-poor kaya dapat nating tutulan lahat yan,” said Colmenares.

Meanwhile, the Partido ng Bayan ang Bida o PBB Partylist will push for legislations that would impose “standards” for socialized housing projects.

PBB partylist first nominee lawyer Imelda “Imee” Cruz said that if they win a seat in Congress, they will push for this together with their housing-related advocacies.

Cruz said their advocacy is for a “disente, maayos, ligtas at abot-kayang pabahay,” especially for those Filipino families who are still renting.

She added that relocation sites or socialized housing must conform to the standard especially on the provisions of the basic necessities such as water, electricity, roads and livelihood.

“Eto yung standards na sinasabi ko. Hindi yung kahit saan saan pwede magtayo ng mga housing units,” said Cruz in a press conference.

Cruz is hopeful that the Cebuano voters will vote for their partylist as this is not an extension of a political family or supported by a political clan.

“Our partylist is sincerely pursuing our advocacy. Our partylist is purely service for the Filipino people,” added Cruz. — GAN (FREEMAN)

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