FOLLOWING the Duterte administration’s renewed push for the passage of the death penalty, Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan questioned Senator Bato dela Rosa on the latter’s privilege speech calling for the revival of capital punishment during a pandemic.
“Maaari bang ipaliwanag ni Sen. Dela Rosa kung paano makakatulong ang reimposition ng death penalty sa pinakamatinding problema ng kawalan ng hanapbuhay at trabaho at pinakamatinding problema ng pagkalat ng COVID sa ngayon?,” Pangilinan asked during the question hour late Wednesday afternoon.
“So naniniwala ang butihing Senador na sa gitna ng pandemya, na milyun-milyon ang walang trabaho at ginugutom na, dapat pa rin top priority ng Administrasyon na ibalik ang death penalty? Tama po ‘yon?” Pangilinan added.
Dela Rosa agreed that the country is currently facing the worst health and economic crisis since World War II, but said drug problem is also a global pandemic.
Pangilinan has repeatedly said that an all-government response is needed to the unprecedented problem of COVID.
“Kung walang solusyon sa COVID, walang economic recovery, walang solusyon sa gutom at kahirapan,” Pangilinan said.
On Tuesday, Pangilinan demanded Health Secretary Francisco Duque III’s removal from leading government response to the pandemic as a requisite for his vote to additional funding to it. He said that over the last four months, Duque’s continuing “mediocre” leadership has only worsened the COVID situation in the country.
Citing corruption at the highest levels in government’s response to the pandemic, Pangilinan said Filipinos deserve better than overpriced test kits and equipment which are insufficient to address the pandemic.
As of July 29, the country has breached the 85,000 mark after 1,874 new cases of COVID-19 were reported.
In reaction to Duterte’s SONA on Monday, Pangilinan earlier said that COVID, hunger, unemployment, and lacking government response is the country’s real problem, and that the death penalty plays no role in responding to the worst health and economic crisis the country is facing.