TOP officials of the Philippine National Police, Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency and the Dangerous Drugs Board have aired anew their strong support for the re-imposition of death penalty for big-time drug traffickers and manufacturers in the aftermath of the arrest of a Chinese national who yielded some 370 kilograms of high-grade shabu in Makati City on Tuesday evening.
“Personally, I am in favor of death penalty for drug trafficking,” said DDB chairman retired Police General Catalino S. Cuy.
“Actually, drug lords and other personalities are saying that the fact that we don’t have a death penalty in the country is an incentive to doing business here, call it ease of doing business plus the huge financial gains,” Cuy added.
“This is not an official statement of the PDEA but at the end of the line, when everything is exhausted and the drug traffickers are serving time at the New Bilibid Prisons, they all have the time to enhance their illegal activities,” said PDEA Deputy Director General for Administration Assistant Secretary Gregorio R. Pimentel who is also a retired PNP Director for Intelligence.
“Even small-time offenders who avail of plea-bargaining, they have a chance to reunite with drug lords inside our prisons. It’s the reason why I am very much in favor of the re-imposition of death penalty,” Pimentel noted.
PNP Officer-in-Charge Lieutenant General Archie Francisco F. Gamboa made the same pitch.
“Of course, I’m in favor of death penalty since based on many suspects we have interviewed before, they’re doing this thing (big-time drug trafficking) because there’s no death penalty in the country,” Gamboa said.
Gamboa added that President Rodrigo Duterte was airing the same position even when he was still the Davao City mayor.
“We’re very thankful we have found allies in the Senate,” Gamboa said.
The three top officials congratulated the PNP Drug Enforcement Group, headed by Colonel Romeo M. Caramat Jr., for the arrest of Chinese national Liu Chao during a buy-bust in Barangay San Antonio, Makati City which led to the confiscation of around 371 kilos of shabu.
In a follow-up operation, two Filipino couriers in Las Piñas City -- identified as brothers Joel and Marvin Bustamante, both residents of Tenejeros, Malabon City -- yielded 17 sealed plastic packets each containing a kilo of shabu.
The seized drugs were believed to be worth nearly P2.7 billion.
The PNP leadership has long aired its support to the imposition of the death penalty on select cases involving illegal drugs and corruption saying that that the certainty of punishment will be a “game changer” in the government’s campaign against the drug trade, corruption, and heinous crimes.
However, many officials have expressed belief that the death penalty can only be restored if the country’s justice system will be flawless, thus the need for Congress to carefully study the proposal to return the capital punishment which was abolished in 2006.
President Duterte had maintained that the death penalty should be imposed for drug-related crimes and plunder.