MANILA – As the police’s anti-illegal drugs operations are suspended and the possible return of the death penalty is being discussed in Congress, the government should use this time to discuss a strategic approach to fighting crime and convene the Judiciary Executive Legislative Advisory and Consultative Council (JELAC), Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan said Tuesday.
“Panahon nang mag-sama-samang magtrabaho ang tatlong sangay ng pamahalaan para magkaroon ng komprehensibong solusyon sa problema ng krimen sa ating bayan. Sinusuportahan natin ang panawagan ng LEDAC (Legislative Executive Development Advisory Council) na pulungin na ang JELAC para pag-usapan kung paano solusyunan ang problema ng krimen at iligal na droga (It’s time for the three branches of government work together toward a comprehensive solution to the country’s crime problem. We support LEDAC’s call to convene JELAC to focus on minimizing criminality and the drug problem in the country),” Pangilinan suggested.
Last year, Pangilinan filed Senate Resolution 79 urging “His Excellency President Rodrigo Duterte…to convene JELAC…as a strategic response to strengthening the administration of justice and speeding up the disposition of cases as a means to address criminality and disregard for the rule of law.”
In that Senate resolution dated 3 August 2016, the Liberal Party president made the proposal in response to then growing number of extrajudicial killings.
This time, Pangilinan is calling for the convening of JELAC to discuss the general problem of crime in the context of judicial system, including the proposal to re-impose the death penalty.
“Ang pagkakaroon ng isang makabagong sistema ng katarungan ang epektibong solusyon sa krimen, hindi ang parusang kamatayan. Ayon sa mga pag-aaral, kasiguruhan ng parusa, hindi parusang kamatayan, ang nagsusugpo ng krimen (Modernizing our judicial system is an effective solution to crime, not the death penalty. According to studies, certainty of punishment, not the death penalty, minimizes crimes),” he said.
A survey conducted by the Free Legal Assistance Group (FLAG) in May 2004 shows that more than 80% of death penalty inmates work in mostly temporary jobs, more than 52% earn lower than P7,000 a month, and almost 45% reached only elementary school.