President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday urged Congress to push for the restoration of the death penalty in the Philippines, noting that capital punishment is about “retribution”, not just deterrence.
"I therefore ask Congress to act on all pending legislations to reimpose death penalty on heinous crimes --especially on the trafficking of illegal drugs," Duterte said in his second State of the Nation Address (SONA) at the Batasang Pambansa Complex in Quezon City.
He pointed out the country's criminal system uses a revised penal code centered on the essence of retribution.
"In the Philippines, it is really an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth. You took life, you must pay it with life. That is the only way to even. You cannot place a premium on the human mind that he will go straight," Duterte said.
In March, the House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved House Bill No. 4727 -- or an act imposing the death penalty on drug-related crimes -- with 217 affirmative votes, 54 negative and one abstention.
The bill limits the imposition of the death penalty to just drug-related offenses in a bid to bolster its enactment into law.
The bill delisted the crimes of plunder, rape, and treason from its coverage as a result of several majority caucuses of the House.
Meanwhile, the death penalty bill is still pending in the Senate. (Filane Mikee Cervantes/PNA)