President Aquino: Death penalty revival needs more study

MANILA, Jan. 29 (PNA) — Despite the perception of increased criminality, the government will have to thoroughly study proposals to revive the death penalty, President Benigno Aquino III said Wednesday.

In an interview with media in Muntinlupa City, the President expressed concerns that a person sentenced to death may not be able to avail of all opportunities to prove his or her innocence due to imperfections in the justice system.

“Ang tanong, nabigay ba ang lahat ng kanyang karapatan na maipagtanggol ang sarili sa korte? Iyong bang talagang nakakasigurado ba tayo na iyong inosente ay hindi mako-convict? Sad to say … iyan ay work in progress pa rin (The question is, is the convict given all the opportunities to defend himself or herself in court? Can we absolutely be sure we are not wrongly sentencing someone to death? Sad to say, this is still a work in progress),” he said.

“Hanggang hindi tayo nakatitiyak na talagang nabigyan lahat ng kanyang hustong karapatan para ipagtanggol ang kanyang sarili, iyong pag tayo’y may sinintensiyahan ng kamatayan na, wala ng bawian yon (We have to be absolutely sure a person is guilty because an execution cannot be undone),” he added.

The President noted the Public Attorney’s Office is swamped with work and may not have the time or resources to review a convicted person’s case.

A bill has been filed in the Senate to revive the death penalty, amid a series of recent high-profile heinous crimes.

“Sa palagay ko, kailangang pag-aralan ng husto yan (So I believe the proposal should be studied thoroughly),” President Aquino said.

On the other hand, the President said the death penalty is not the only deterrent to crime, since arrest and the certainty of punishment will also make people think twice before committing a crime. (PNA)