Death penalty for foreigners in drug-related crimes sought

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Wednesday, March 12, 2014


THE House committee on dangerous drugs has endorsed for plenary approval a bill seeking to impose death penalty for foreign nationals arrested in the country for drug trafficking and other drug-related crimes.

House Bill 1213 authored by Cagayan de Oro Representative Rufus Rodriguez said that "foreign nationals caught violating Philippine laws be convicted and meted the harshest penalties, including death, that their countries' laws impose."

"While there is no reason to question the laws of foreign countries, we must ensure that our countrymen do not suffer the short end of the stick," Rodriguez said.

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The lawmaker said that many foreign nationals were emboldened to establish their drug factories in the Philippines since there is no death penalty in the country.

"Once convicted, these foreign nationals only suffer life imprisonment as opposed to the penalties that they suffer in their own countries which, in some cases like China, is death," Rodriguez said.

He also cited constant reports of foreign nationals, including Chinese nationals, being caught selling drugs and operating drug dens and laboratories at present and once caught and convicted, the penalty that our courts could impose is only life imprisonment.

"This is a sad, or even unfair situation, because when Filipinos are caught drug trafficking abroad, they may be meted the death penalty, as seen in the most recent execution of the three Filipinos in China [recently]," the Cagayan de Oro legislator said.

Section 1 of the propose measure states that: "If the violator of any of the provisions of this Act is alien, the penalty to be imposed shall be the penalty prescribed by the alien’s national law for the act committed or the penalty prescribed by this Act, whichever is higher: Provided, that if the act committed is not punishable in the alien’s national law, then the provisions of this Act shall apply.”

Rodriguez noted that if the death penalty is not imposed for the unlawful act committed, "any alien who violates such provisions of this Act, after service of sentence, be deported immediately without further proceedings."

"The penalty of death, if applicable, shall be imposed despite the prohibition of the imposition of the death penalty in the Philippines," Rodriguez said. (Sunnex)

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