Majority of Filipinos are against the imposition of the death penalty for specific crimes related to illegal drugs, a Social Weather Stations survey showed.
The survey, which was conducted for the Commission on Human Rights, showed that only 33 percent of the respondents agree with reinstating the death penalty for committing serious crimes related to illegal drugs.
SWS listed the seven drug-related crimes as follows: Importation of illegal drugs; maintenance of drug dens; manufacture of illegal drugs; murder under the influence of drugs; rape under the influence of drugs; sale of illegal drugs; and working in drug dens.
“For six out of seven specific serious crimes related to illegal drugs, 33 percent or less demand the death penalty,” SWS said in its report.
It added that the only exception is the crime of rape under the influence of drugs, for which 47 percent (still a minority) think that capital punishment should apply.
“The strongest demand for the death penalty is at 47 percent, for rape under the influence of drugs. For the other six crimes, the demand for the death penalty is from 22 percent to 33 percent,” the pollster said.
A majority of those polled said they prefer life imprisonment for crimes related to illegal drugs.
Meanwhile, senators belonging to the minority bloc have called for an immediate investigation into the recent spate of killings in Cebu under the “one-time, big-time” anti-illegal drug operations of the Philippine National Police.
In filing Senate Resolution No. 915, the senators said they are gravely concerned about the recent wave of killings in Cebu due to the involvement of some police officers who are reportedly pursuing the government’s all-out war on drugs.
“The allegation that police officers themselves are behind some of the killings is highly disturbing,” said the minority senators—composed of Minority Floor Leader Franklin Drilon, Francis Pangilinan, Risa Hontiveros, Antonio Trillanes IV, Leila de Lima and Benigno Aquino IV.
The senators said police authorities can only use force in legitimate police operations but only when it is “strictly necessary, for lawful law enforcement purposes, proportional to lawful objectives, and damage and injury are to be minimized.”
“As duty bearers, the PNP must observe proper operational procedures in order to fulfill the organization’s obligation with respect to human rights-based policing,” they pointed out.
Last July 18, the members of the Senate minority bloc have issued a joint statement expressing alarm over the brazenness of killings in the country, especially in Metro Cebu where scores of suspected drug offenders were arrested and killed without due process.
In the three phases of the OTBT operations initiated by PRO-7, a total of 19 suspected drug personalities have already died. In its third phase of operations alone, at least 10 suspected drug offenders died and 76 were arrested.
The PNP, for its part, admitted there is still a lot that needs to be done in the war against illegal drugs.
PNP spokesman Chief Supt. Benigno Durana made the remark after President Rodrigo Duterte revealed another matrix which indicated the involvement of seven active and retired police officers in illegal drug activities.
“This means the war against drug is still far from over, and we need to continuously cleanse our ranks of misfits and scalawags,” Durana said.
“Our counter intelligence continues not only for these police officers [in the drug matrix] but also for other police officers who may have derogatory reports against them, especially in illegal drugs, “ Durana said. With PNA