MANILA — Lawmakers have nothing to fear if they don’t steal money from public funds.
Senator Christopher “Bong” Go made this remark on Wednesday as he urged fellow lawmakers to support the passage of the death penalty bill for plunder and heinous related to illegal drugs.
In his 4th State of the Nation Address (SONA) on July 22, President Rodrigo Duterte asked Congress to reinstate the death penalty.
“Wala naman silang ninanakaw, at gusto niyong tulungan kami ni Pangulong Duterte sa kampanya laban sa korupsyon, suportahan po natin itong death penalty (If they’re not stealing and you want to help me and President Duterte in our campaign against corruption, support death penalty),” Go told reporters in an interview in Malacañang.
“Kung wala kayong ninanakaw, wala po kayong dapat ikatakot (If you’re not stealing, you have nothing to fear),” he added.
Asked what method of execution he would prefer for death penalty, Go said he would go for either lethal injection or electric chair.
He said he would also want to lower the plunder threshold which is currently set at PHP50 million.
Go said the death penalty bill would require long deliberation especially since only a number of senators have publicly expressed support for the death penalty bill.
He said Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto III is among those who have expressed support for the reinstatement of capital punishment.
Senator Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa, former Philippine National Police (PNP) and Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) chief, has also filed a death penalty bill for drugs.
Senator Bong Revilla, who earlier faced plunder charges in relation to the multi-billion pork barrel scam, has also expressed support for the death penalty bill for plunder.
Go said he will personally talk with Revilla, his namesake, to support his measure.
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo, meanwhile, described upcoming discussions on the death penalty bill as “interesting” to watch.
‘It will be an interesting debate. E sinasabi nga ni Sen. Pacquiao, kung noon pa natin pinasok ‘yan baka yung mga droga hindi na nakapasok ng ganun kadami (Sen. Manny Pacquiao said that if we had death penalty a long time ago, perhaps this much drugs would not have entered the country),” Panelo said in an interview with reporters.
Although Panelo earlier said Duterte may “most likely” certify the death penalty bill as urgent, he will not exert any more effort to urge for its passage.
“He doesn’t cajole, he doesn’t urge, he doesn’t influence. Ganun ang style niya (That’s his style). Basta he makes his position,” he said. Azer Parrocha / PNA – northboundasia.com