Pacquiao urges Senate panel to prioritize death penalty


MANILA -- Senator Emmanuel "Manny" Pacquiao on Tuesday urged the Senate committee on justice and human rights to prioritize the hearings on the bill seeking to reimpose the death penalty for drug-related crimes.
In a privilege speech, Pacquiao highlighted that criminal organizations and their cohorts can no longer be directly deterred by the administration’s present campaign against illegal drugs nor can they be reformed even though they are already inside detention facilities.
Pacquiao said it is high time for the state to “step up its game” and put these criminals “to death through judicial sanction.”
“This death penalty is self-defense of the state to protect its people against the destruction of lives and properties brought by drug-related crimes that undermine the Filipinos’ faith in the government’s ability to maintain peace and order in the country and affect our economic development and prosperity,” he said.
“The state based on the right to protect as an act of self-defense has the right to take the life of an individual,” he added.
Pacquiao said despite government efforts to dismantle shabu laboratories within the country, Southeast Asia, including the Philippines, has been the fastest-growing shabu market in the world.
The senator noted that in the Philippines alone, billions worth of shabu has been confiscated in line with the government's campaign illegal drugs.
“Despite efforts of eradicating our country of this poison, the first quarter of 2019 has the all-time high record of shabu that was seized by authorities,” he said.
“It is alarming to note that most of the supplies of shabu in the Philippines are being facilitated by transnational drug syndicates,” he added.
He said international criminal organizations and drug cartels have become more aggressive, describing drug-trafficking in the country as “well-organized.”
“Our strategic location as a gateway for transnational transactions in our lenient penal system towards trafficking have made our country a safe place for syndicates' highly profitable drug businesses,” he said.
Pacquiao lamented that drug syndicates are no longer scared of governments nor punishments, adding that they are beyond reformation.
“We are not giving up the war on drugs because we cannot allow the drug syndicates and the drug lords to reign over our land,” Pacquiao said.
“This is our land. We love our country. We love our land. We have the obligation to protect our people within the bounds of the supreme law of the land--our Constitution,” he added.

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