July 21, 2009
Independent Senator Francis ‘Kiko’ Pangilinan extends his sympathies to the daughter of a government drug agent who was raped by alleged drug syndicates. But recent clamor for reimposing the death penalty is not the answer, he says.
“The entire system of justice requires a top to bottom overhaul in order to ensure that swift justice is met in every case,” Pangilinan says. “Our justice system needs to expedite cases more and punish swiftly those who are guilty if fear and respect for our laws is to be realized.”
Pangilinan, a justice reforms advocate, has been championing judicial modernization since becoming a lawyer. He has successfully passed the Judiciary Compensation and Modernization Act, which doubled the pay and other benefits of judges and justices thereby addressing the issue of huge vacancy rate in many courts. He says the Philippine judiciary is mired in bureaucracy and corruption.
“Reimposing the death penalty will not lead to more convictions, nor will it ensure that cases will be decided swiftly and the guilty punished. The death penalty will not address lawlessness and criminality when convictions are few and cases drag on for years on end. Modernizing our justice system is the key to end lawlessness and criminality.”