The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) said Tuesday they fully support President Rodrigo Duterte’s renewed call to impose the death penalty for drug offenses.
PDEA chief Director General Wilkins Villanueva emphasized in a statement that the absence of the death penalty favors drug personalities who continue their illegal drug operations even inside jails.
“We have intercepted drug transactions perpetrated by convicted high-profile inmates while inside the national penitentiaries. They have found ways to communicate with the outside world one way or the other, and give direct orders to people involved in the illegal drug trade,” Villanueva said.
The PDEA chief said the quantity of the seized illegal drugs could be the determiner if the death penalty would punish a drug convict by lethal injection. He added big-time drug traffickers should be given capital punishment and not street-level drug pushers.
“I strongly suggest that seized drugs weighing one kilogram or more should be the threshold amount,” Villanueva said.
For him, harsher penalties would tell drug traffickers to think of the consequences before selling illegal drugs in the Philippines.
“They have the luxury to operate in our country without worry because the maximum penalty on our laws is less harsh,” Villanueva said.
President Rodrigo Duterte brought back the call for the death penalty for drug offenders during the 5th State of the Nation Address yesterday.
“The amount of shabu valued at millions of pesos seized during police operations speaks volume of enormity and the weight of the problem that we bear,” he said.
“They cannot outrun the long arm of the law,” he added.
Duterte said that “human rights” is freedom from illegal drugs, criminality, and terrorism.
Senator Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa, who was also Duterte’s former PNP chief earlier, said he was happy with the President said.
“I’m happy that he appealed to Congress for the passage of the death penalty law for drug trafficking because my death penalty bill has been languishing at the referred committee for one year already without actions taken,” Dela Rosa said in a message to reporters.