Wednesday, December 03, 2003

Dateline: Philippines

"What these people need is retribution."

The highlights...

Rody backs execution of death row convicts
By Raquel C. Bagnol

DAVAO City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte has expressed support for the resumption of the execution of death row convicts indefinitely suspended by President Arroyo last year while awaiting for Congress decision on capital punishment.

He said suspension had emboldened criminals, particularly those involved in the illegal drugs trade.

"President Arroyo and I have conflicting ideas regarding this issue because even these drug traffickers know there lives are in danger, they won't stop because of money," Duterte said. He added that the money drug traffickers get from the business "is no joke", which prods them to continue trafficking illegal drugs.

Duterte said that the resumption of death penalty has become necessary amid rising criminality.

"What these people need is retribution. They have ruined the lives of many and they should pay," he said.

....The law can only be repealed if both the House and the Senate arrive at a consensus.

Arroyo, however, said she may allow executions to resume as part of a high-profile campaign against illegal drugs.

"I shall make a decision on the possible re-imposition of the death penalty on the basis of moral principles and due process," she said in a statement published at a national newspaper dated July 6.

Prior to the suspension of the death penalty, Arroyo suspended the August 30 execution of Rolando Pagdayawon of Davao City who was convicted of raping his own daughter because she felt awkward putting him to death on the eve of Manila Archbishop Jaime Cardinal Sin's 74th birthday.