The Senate Committee on Justice and Human Rights has started its first hearing on measures seeking the revival of death penalty.
Seven bills filed in the chamber seek the reimposition of the capital punishment.
Senator Manny Pacquiao is the author of 3 of the bills.
He is urging his fellow senators to pass a law that will mandate the execution of drug traffickers.
“On a personal level, I can forgive, However, the heinous crime of drug trafficking is committed not just against a person, but against the nation. Drug traffickers deserve death penalty,” he stressed.
Tension briefly gripped the hearing, after Senator Leila de Lima berated Attorney Ferdie Topacio for supposedly calling her a drug trafficker.
“Why are you singling out Senator Leila de Lima and not a drug trafficker?” she angrily asked Topacio.
She also asked why Topacio was not running after real drug traffickers.
De Lima’s remarks came after Topacio talked about the proliferation of illegal drugs inside New Bilibid Prison (NBP) at the time De Lima was the Secretary of Justice.
Topacio was appearing as a resource person representing the group Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC).
Committee Chairman Richard Gordon suspended the proceeding to prevent a heated confrontation.
When the inquiry resumed, other resource persons were asked to give their views on the death penalty.
Former President Gloria Arroyo had abolished the capital punishment in June 2006, only two weeks after the legislation was confirmed by Congress.