A Kilo or More: PDEA supports Duterte’s call for death penalty for big-time dealers

From a drug bust taken June 4 <i>Photo: PDEA Top Stories / FB</i>
From a drug bust taken June 4 Photo: PDEA Top Stories / FB

Big-time drug traffickers should be punished with the death penalty, the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) said yesterday, shortly after President Rodrigo Duterte called for the reimposition of capital punishment in his State of the Nation Address early this week.

Wilkins Villanueva, PDEA’s director-general, said this was necessary because there are criminals who allegedly continue with their operations even from behind bars. He alleged that some convicts have “found ways to communicate with the outside world” so that they could continue getting involved in the illegal drug trade.

“The absence of capital punishment is favorable for drug peddlers who continue their nefarious activities despite being in detention,” he said in a statement.

“Execution by lethal injection is for big-time drug traffickers, and not for the street-level pushers. I strongly suggest that seized drugs weighing one kilogram or more should be the threshold amount,” he added.

Read: Death penalty not proven to stop crimes, Filipino bishops tell Duterte

The PDEA chief added that the death penalty should apply to both foreign and local drug offenders, including “protectors and coddlers…found guilty of manufacturing, trafficking, and pushing dangerous drugs.”

“Tougher penalties will send a clear message and force them to have second thoughts before smuggling and trafficking illegal drugs. They have the luxury to operate in our country without worry because the maximum penalty on our laws is less harsh,” Villanueva said.
Yesterday, the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines rejected the proposed return of the death penalty and asked lawmakers to consult with the public first to understand their views on the issue.
The bishops said that there has been no evidence to suggest that the death penalty deters crimes and that the Duterte government should instead focus on reforming the country’s criminals.

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