President Duterte calls for death by hanging as an execution method

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte delivers his speech during the inauguration of the Candon City Bypass Road in Ilocos Sur on July 25, 2019. Alfred Frias I Presidential Photo

President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday night, July 25 said he prefers using ropes to execute criminals instead of bullets, following his call earlier this week to reinstate the death penalty.

Hanging is a cheaper alternative to execute criminals instead of employing a firing squad or using lethal injection, the president said. 

During his fourth State of the Nation Address (SONA) earlier this week on Monday, July 22, Duterte urged Congress to revive the death penalty on crimes related to illegal drugs and plunder. 

Malacañang said it supports the death penalty by hanging or through lethal injection as methods of execution for crimes committed under the influence of drugs and plunder.

PNP chief Gen. Oscar Albayalde expressed his support for the revival of the death penalty and said he wanted lethal injection as the method of execution for criminals — a preference that goes against the wishes of his predecessor Sen. Ronald dela Rosa who wanted firing squad as the execution method.

He said those who traffic kilos of illegal drugs should face the death penalty as should the people who maintain and operate drug dens and laboratories. 

Albayalde also maintained that the death penalty is not anti-poor and emphasized that capital punishment should be imposed on high-value drug dealers.

Where senators stand on death penalty

Several senators have voiced their support for the passage of the death penalty bill. 

Among them include Sen. Tito Sotto, who first sought the revival of capital punishment through lethal injection in 2014; Sen. Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa, who filed a bill that imposes death penalty on crimes related to the importation and manufacture of illegal drugs; Sen. Christopher “Bong” Go, who proposed plunder to be included as a capital punishment; and Sen. Manny Pacquiao, who also proposed to impose a fine ranging from P1 million to P10 million to those guilty of importing and selling illegal drugs.

Senators Pia Cayetano, Sherwin Gatchalian, Lito Lapid, Imee Marcos, Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III, Ramon “Bong” Revilla, Francis Tolentino, and Cynthia Villar are all for the restoration of the death penalty if it will only be used for heinous crimes and drug-related offenses.

Sen. Panfilo Lacson, meanwhile, wanted to include treason, qualified piracy, qualified bribery, parricide, murder, infanticide, rape, kidnapping and illegal detention, robbery with violence and intimidation of persons, destructive arson and human trafficking as crimes punishable by death.

On the other hand, those who expressed opposition to the death penalty are Sens. Franklin Drilon, Risa Hontiveros, Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan, Leila De Lima, Richard Gordon, Juan Miguel Zubiri, and Nancy Binay.

Sen. Grace Poe, who was initially in favor of the death penalty when she ran for president in 2016, had a change of heart in 2017.

According to Drilon, no justice will be served if it involves taking a life. Meanwhile, Pangilinan maintained that the death penalty is cruel, degrading and inhuman. 

Ritchel Mendiola

Ritchel Mendiola is a staff writer and reporter for the Asian Journal. You can reach her at [email protected].

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