Erap: Death for drug raps ‘is no issue’
Manila Mayor Joseph “Erap” Estrada is supporting the bill in Congress imposing the death penalty on drug-related offenses, saying he has no issue on it.
On Thursday, Estrada said the reimposition of capital punishment would serve as an antidote to the rising number of heinous crimes, particularly those committed by offenders who are under the influence of drugs.
“Well, drug-related crimes are more important,” Estrada said regarding his personal views about the passage of House Bill 4727 by Congress last March 7.
House Bill 4727 limits the imposition of the death sentence to drug-related crimes only.
“Fathers raping their own daughters, a mother strangling all her babies to death, it’s sad. It’s all because of drugs,” the mayor said in expressing his support to the death penalty bill.
In Metro Manila alone, he stressed that 92 percent of crimes committed are related to drugs, based on the report of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency.
Illegal drugs proliferated “because of the involvement of corrupt politicians who use drug money for their political interests,” Estrada said.
“Why are big drug labs in the provinces are all spreading? Because during election time, governors, congressmen, mayors, councilors, and even barangay chairmen get their campaign funds from drug lords,” he pointed out.
Illegal drugs remain a big threat to the country’s peace and order and security, Estrada said. He has long supported calls to impose the death penalty against drug lords and drug traffickers, saying drugs “corrupt the minds of the youth and destroy their future.”
It was during his presidency when Leo Echegaray, a house painter, was executed via lethal injection on Feb. 5, 1999 for repeatedly raping his stepdaughter, becoming the first convict to be executed since the reimposition of death penalty in 1993 under the Ramos administration. Six more convicts were later put to death.
The death penalty was subsequently abolished in June 2006 during the term of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, who now represents the second district of Pampanga in Congress.