MANILA, Philippines – Aside from drug-related offenses, Senator Panfilo “Ping” Lacson said he also wants rape, treason, terrorism and human trafficking to be punishable by death.

Lacson said terrorism, human trafficking, plunder, treason and drug-related crimes should be under the coverage of the proposed restoration of the death penalty law, as an alarming surge of heinous crimes in recent years has shown life imprisonment, as capital punishment, failed to be a deterrent to grave offenders.

“Hence, to reinstate public order and the rule of law, there is an impending need to revisit and re-impose the death penalty on certain heinous crimes which as ratiocinated by R.A. 7659 or the Death Penalty Law is appropriately necessary due to the alarming upsurge of such crimes which has resulted not only in the loss of human lives and wanton destruction of property but also affected the nation’s efforts towards sustainable economic development and prosperity while at the same time has undermined the people’s faith in the Government and the latter’s ability to maintain peace and order in the country’,” Lacson said in the explanatory note of his bill.

The measure has been submitted to the Senate Legislative Bills and Index and is expected to be tackled immediately upon opening of the 17th Congress in July 25.

Under Lacson’s bill, crimes to be punishable by death penalty include treason, qualified piracy, qualified bribery, parricide, murder, infanticide, rape, kidnapping and serious illegal detention, robbery with violence against or intimidation of persons, destructive arson, plunder, drug-related cases, terrorism, carnapping, trafficking in persons (including use of trafficked persons for prostitution), and illegal recruitment (if it constitutes economic sabotage).

Lacson said any Filipino who levies war against the Philippines or adheres to her enemies shall be punished by reclusion perpetua to death for treason, and shall pay a fine of up to P100,000.

Qualified piracy, he said, is when offenders seize a vessel by boarding or firing upon it; abandoning their victims without means of saving themselves; or when the crime is accompanied by murder, homicide, physical injuries or rape.

Qualified bribery, Lacson explained is if a public law enforcement officer refrains from arresting or prosecuting an offender who has committed a crime punishable by reclusion perpetua and/or death in consideration of any offer, promise, gift or present. If the public officer asks or demands such a gift, he or she shall suffer the death penalty.

Lacson said any person who would kill any child less than three days faces the death penalty provided for parricide.

Rape must also be punishable by death if done using a deadly weapon or by two or more persons and when the victim has become insane; when the rape is attempted and a homicide is committed;

When the victim is less than 18 years old and the offender is a parent, ascendant, step-parent, guardian, relative by consanguinity or affinity within the third civil degree, or the common-law spouse of the parent of the victim;

When the victim is under the custody of the police or military authorities or any law enforcement or penal institution;

When the rape is committed in full view of the spouse, parent, any of the children or other relatives within the third civil degree of consanguinity;

When the victim is a religious and is personally known as such by the offender; and when the victim is a child below seven years old.

Source: The Maharlikan

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