CHIEF Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo said Tuesday that plunder should not be excluded in the list of offenses punishable by death.
Panelo, in a chance interview, said that plunder is a “heinous crime” because looting money is equivalent to “killing” the victims.
“I heard Senator Grace Poe earlier. She said plunder [is a crime that] does not kill people, [thus is not] heinous crime. For me, it’s wrong. When you deprived the constituents of the millions or billions of money that should be given to them, you’re killing them effectively. That’s a heinous crime to my mind. But that’s just a personal opinion,” he said.
Panelo was referring to Poe’s statement in a television interview earlier in the day that plunderers should rather face life imprisonment than death.
Poe made the remark amid the proposal at the House of Representatives to remove plunder from the list of crimes punishable by death.
The House majority bloc agreed to only impose capital punishment against heinous crimes as the involvement in illegal drugs, murder, kidnapping, carjacking and rape.
Panelo, however, perceived that some lawmakers might want to remove plunder from the list of heinous crimes for fear that they would face such punishment if they have been charged of such offense.
He said that including plunder in crimes punishable by death would serve as “deterrence” among individuals who would attempt to commit plunder.
“Personally, maybe some of them would not want to be prosecuted later on, maybe some of them would not want other members coming in to be submitted to such. They’re only humans, they’re afraid of death penalty,” Panelo said.
“If you will die of natural causes, you have no choice. But if you are being punished by crimes, that’s another matter. It will be a total humiliation, a loss of honor, name and dignity as a person,” he added. (SunStar Philippines)
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