Sen. Robinhood Padilla is now pushing for the death penalty against Customs, police, military, etc. personnel. who will be involved in smuggling, especially in the agricultural sector — since it affects the livelihood of farmers.
The senator intends to push this through his Senate Bill 2214, which seeks to amend Section 4 Republic Act 10845 Anti-Agricultural Smuggling Act of 2016.
“We have to send a strong message that the large-scale agricultural smuggling, hoarding, profiteering, and cartel of agricultural products perpetrated by the officers and employees of the bureau of customs, are heinous and a threat to the very foundation of our society,” the senator said.
“Hence, there is a compelling reason to impose death penalty.”
“Large-scale smuggling and other pernicious activities are threatening the lives of the people by pushing them further to the brink of poverty and putting our country in grave food insecurity.”
Smuggled products are brought into a country illegally, and often the government does not impose appropriate taxes or tariffs.
Sometimes smuggled goods are also smuggled when there is a restriction or quota on the importation of certain products.
There used to be a death penalty in the Philippines, but Congress abolished it after passing Republic Act 9346 in 2006.
Life imprisonment and reclusion perpetua have just replaced the crimes that were previously punishable by death.
Padilla wants death penalty against gov't officials involved in smuggling
“Agricultural country tayo, sinasabing agricultural country tayo pero nag-i-import tayo, ‘di ba nakakahiya yan? Law enforcement kayo. Pinamumugaran tayo ng smuggling. Sa tingin n'yo ba masaya ako na life imprisonment lang kayo?” he said.
“Paano naman mawawala ang rebelde kung pinapahirapan naman natin ang magsasaka? Para tayong naglolokohan sa bansa na ito.”
Padilla, an action-star-turned-senator, also filed SB 2042, which seeks to impose the death penalty on security personnel involved in murder.
Human rights advocates have been fighting the return of the death penalty for a long time, especially since it does not solve criminality. On the other hand, it is possible that innocent convicted criminals who do not have access to good lawyers may even be killed.
The Philippines will violate two international treaties, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Second Optional Protocol to the ICCPR, if the death penalty is returned to the Philippines. The country ratified them in 1986 and 2007.
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