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Monday, June 17, 2024

Lacson withdraws bill seeking to revive death penalty

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Senator Panfilo “Ping” Lacson withdrew this week his authorship of a bill seeking to reinstitute the death penalty for heinous crimes.

In a letter to Senate Secretary Myra Villarica, Lacson also requested that his bill, Senate Bill 27, no longer be considered for deliberation by the Senate panels concerned.

Last week, the former Philippine National Police chief withdrew his support for the revival of death penalty for heinous crimes, saying it is better to spare the life of a criminal than to wrongly execute an innocent person.

“Better that the guilty be imprisoned for life than to have innocents executed because of a wrong judgment,” he said.

He also pushed for life imprisonment and penal reforms as better alternatives even as he supported the suggestion of Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto III to confine drug lords in a “super max” penitentiary, with no means of communication with the outside world.

Lacson and Sotto earned praise from the Commission on Human Rights and the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines for their stance on the issue.

Meanwhile, Lacson urged the national government to move quickly in its procurement and approval of scientifically proven antiviral drugs such as molnupiravir.

“The permission itself must now be released. The Food and Drug Administration should be ready for it, so that once it [molnupiravir] becomes available in the market, our national and local governments will be prepared to purchase and distribute it to our public hospitals,” he said. 

Merck and Ridgeback Biotherapeutics, the biopharmaceutical companies behind molnupiravir, have conducted successful clinical trials to treat highly transmissible COVID-19 variants, which reportedly reduced the risk of hospitalizations for patients by 50 percent.

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