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MOTION: TH SUPPORTS THE REINSTATEMENT OF DEATH PENALTY

A tooth for a tooth, an eye for an eye. An ancient phrase that suggests for a punishment of equal
proportion to the crime committed.

Mister Chair, Members of the House, good afternoon!

Not so long ago, in the early part of 2019, we all got shuddered by a news where a girl named
Christina Lee Silawan was found dead in an open field, sustaining 30 stab wounds and shockingly her face
was skinned off. An act that can hardly be fathomed how a person can ever do such thing. Grossly evil,
certainly brutal and absolutely wicked. A crime that sent shivers down our spine.

Another case of heinous crime that shook the nation this year was the interception of a shipment
by the Bureau of Custom which contains 500 kilograms of shabu that according to the authorities are
worth 3.4 billion pesos. Shabu is an illegal substance that causes its user irreversible harm, physically and
mentally. Shabu and other illegal drugs affects over 4 million Filipinos nationwide People under influence
of illegal drugs can perpetuate the most atrocious crimes in the most repugnant of manners. It destroys
life, it destroys future of a person.

And who would forget the gruesome massacre of 58 individuals including journalists, supporters
and family members of a running candidate for a local election in Maguindao that occurred nearly a
decade ago but still fresh in the mind of people and left a mark in the course of the Philippine history. The
bodies of the victim were found in a mass grave, buried using a backhoe. Terrifying, unsettling and
definitely makes the perpetrator mete a penalty more than just life imprisonment.

The amount of pain, suffering and grief it brought to the families of the victims are unforgivable.

Having mentioned those few of many acts involving heinous crime, the house supports the
reinstatement of death penalty as capital punishment for heinous crimes.

Before I proceed to our arguments, let me define to you the word “heinous Crimes”. Heinous
crimes are crimes that are considered grievous, odious and hateful offenses and which, by reason of their
inherent or manifest wickedness, viciousness, atrocity and perversity are repugnant and outrageous to
the common standards and norms of decency and morality in a just, civilized and ordered society. It must
be characterized with unimaginable brutality, extra-ordinary, rare, if not practically inexistent but
undeniably capable of happening in reality similar to those cases I have mentioned.

Capital punishment or Death penalty is an institutionalized practice designed to result in


deliberately executing persons in response to actual or supposed misconduct and following an authorized,
rule-governed process to conclude that the person is responsible for violating norms that warrant
execution.

Just to give you a brief background of the history of death penalty in the Philippines, death penalty
as capital punishment can be rooted back in time before the Spaniards colonized us. During the Spanish
era, firing squad and garotte were the common method in carrying out the punishment. During the
Marcos regime, firing squad was replaced by electric chair. In 1993, RA 7659 or Death Penalty Law was
signed by then President Fidel V. Ramos, RA 8177 was enacted in 1996 designating death by lethal
injection and finally repealed it by the enactment of RA 9346.
The imposition of death penalty in the Philippines is not absolutely abolished. It is just merely
suspended. Article III, section 19 of 1987 Philippine Constitution states that “excessive fines shall not be
imposed nor cruel, degrading or inhuman punishment inflicted. Neither shall death penalty be imposed,
UNLESS, FOR COMPELLING REASONS INVOLVING HEINOUS CRIMES, the congress hereafter provides for
it. Aptly, there is clear showing that the constitutional commission who drafted the 1987 Philippine
Constitution had seen the need to reinstate the same in the future and that future is now.

That particular constitutional provision speaks of compelling reasons. What are these “compelling
reasons” that must be established in order to reinstate death penalty?

The number of heinous crimes is not what we believe the sole subject of our argumentation but
the mere existence of crimes of such gravity and severity in the manner of committing it. There is scant
regard to the human element as characterized by classical theory in criminal law, the basis of criminal
liability is human free will and the purpose of the penalty is retribution. As I previously mentioned, heinous
crimes of such gravity exist, and to exact justice is to take the life of these criminals.

Death penalty by lethal injection shall be instituted because as provided in the case of Harden vs.
Director of prisons, the Supreme Court ruled that "punishments are cruel when they involve torture or a
lingering death; but the punishment of death is not cruel, within the meaning of that word as used in the
constitution. It implies there something inhuman and barbarous, something more than the mere
extinguishment of life." Would the lack in particularity then as to the details involved in the execution by
lethal injection render said law "cruel, degrading or inhuman"? The Court believes not.

Moreover, in a 2018 survey conducted by SWS, it shows that 59% of the Filipinos agree to
reinstate death penalty as capital punishment for heinous crimes. With proper legislation, backed up by
the majority of the people. There is no reason not to restore death penalty.

The basis for linking the death penalty to the crime is the law of retribution, the ancient maxim,
Lex Talionis, rooted in the principle of equality.

Concluding my speech, the offenders of heinous crimes had no regard to the life of a person, have
zero concern about their future and they paid no remorse in bringing uncontrollable fear to the victim.
They deprived them of their right to live and therefore forfeit their own right to life by virtue of voluntarily
taking another’s life.

Thank you.