DAVAO CITY — Liberal Party senatorial candidate Leila de Lima opposed the position of presidential candidates, Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte and Senator Grace Poe who said they favor to bring back death penalty during the second presidential debates held in Cebu City on Sunday, March 20.
Out of the four presidential candidates present during the debate in Cebu, Duterte and Poe were the ones who raised their hands when asked if they are in favor of bringing back death penalty.
Although the candidates were only required to raise their hands, Poe said she favors death penalty for heinous crimes, drugs and multiple crimes, while Duterte said he favors death sentence for drug related cases.
De Lima in a statement on Monday, March 21 said there is “no empirical evidence anywhere which suggested that the death penalty deters crime.”
“The death penalty should be abolished, not only because there is no correlation between this punishment and crime deterrence, but also its effects are basically irreversible. The State has the obligation to guide any offender to a life of reform and become more productive members of society,” she said.
De Lima said even law offenders have a potential to become reformed members of society.
“For heinous offenses such as drug and human trafficking, rape and other sociopathic offenses such as serial killings and mass murderers, life imprisonment without parole or executive clemency should be enough,” said De Lima.
De Lima, who was former Justice Secretary and chairperson of the Commission on Human Rights said “most of those convicted belong to the lower classes: the poor and disadvantaged, financially unable to pay for their own counsel, relying only on the court to provide them with a legal counsel.”
De Lima said the country needs an independent judiciary “who can decide on cases with the highest integrity and will ensure a speedy trial.”
She also cited the need for efficient prosecutors and an honest, law enforcement sector “that will implement the law to the letter.”
“We likewise need a modern and simplified criminal code that will allow better response to the times, resulting in a higher conviction rates,” she added. (davaotoday.com)