House and Senate most unlikely to reinstate death penalty

THE issue of reimposition of death penalty on henious crimes murderers and drug traffckers has resurfaced after Sen. Miguel Zubiri filed a bill for that purpose.

What prompted the good senator to reinstate capital punishment in the statute s book is the rash of carnapping-related killings.

Zubiri has filed Senate Bill No. 2383 reinstating death penalty on henious crimes.

The proposed legislation has drswn negative reaction from his fellow lawmakers both from the Senate and the House of Representatives.

Among those who expressed their opposition to Zubiri bill are Senate Minority Floor Leader Alan Peter Cayetano, Senators Gregorio Honasan, Francisco Escudero, and Miriam Defensor Santiago.

Congressmen who are opposed to the bill are led by Deputy Majority Floor Leader Roman Romulo.
Their opposition against restoration of capital punishment may be summarized as follow:

1)    Flaws in the criminal justice system could lead to wrongful execution;

2)     Imperfections in our criminal justice system leavwe no room for rectification once a convict has been put to death; We can”t free a dead man.

3)    The risk of wrongful convictions is very high because the pillars of our justice system, particularly the police and the courts, are severely handicapped;

4)    The rising cases of car theft can be suppressed by meting punishment swiftly is best deterrent to crime, more than the punishment itself;

5)    We can’t have death penalty if we still have highly irresponsible police officers brazenly torturing suspects, fabricating evidence and snatching people on trumped up charges;

6)    There is no historical data that capital punishment would strike fear in the hearts of criminals and deter crime;

7)    Certainty of of punishment not death penalty strikes more fear in the hearts of the people who are about to commit crime;

Your “The Uncommon Touch” holds the view that it is better to free a guilty person than to put to death an innocent one.


We were shocked to read annual reports of the Commission  on Audit (COA) for 2008 showing that the Supreme Court failed to deposiot P4.8 billion in trust receipts and remit the interest earned on fiduciary funds and forfeited and confiscated bonds amounting to P74.6 million. By 2009 the running total of unremitted trust receipts reached P5.38 billion.

The Court”s trust fund includes “fiduciary receipts” and mediation fees. Fiduciary receipts come from bail bonds.

In 2008, then Chief Justice Reynato Puno and COA agreed to implement a payment scheme to remit the backlog interest at staggered payment sd of P1 million every month. As of December 2009, the Court had remitted P14 million or 11 percent of the amount due.

During a recent Senate hearing it was discovered that that in December 2008, the Court had P236.7 million in its savings account for allowances that was not distributed. This finding came at the time when court administrator Midas Marquez launched a high profile media campaign for the Court’s budget. He also warned of protests by the judges if the budget department and Congress did not increase their budget to the desired level of P27.l billion.

The Department of Budget and Management allotted P14.3 billion for 2011, which shows an increasae of 7.27  percent from the 2010 budget of P13.3 billion.

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