A SHOOT to kill order is almost like a conditional death penalty in its “operational' effect.” This negates the argument that a formal death penalty does not deter criminals. The fact that 700,000 drug user/pushers surrendered after the spate of killings is proof that, indeed, a death penalty law that is implemented deters crime.
But a death penalty law that is never or hardly implemented because of imperfections in the justice system will not deter professional criminals. With their capability to hire the best lawyers and the interminable postponements that happens in our courts, they will die by natural causes before a death sentence on them is carried out.
Besides, as shown by our Bilibid experience, they can continue their nefarious trade in the comfort of their refurbished and enhanced jail suites complete with jacuzzi and concerts and boy and girl sex worker visiting and all other luxuries and amenities of life. They also turn their prison guards into their personal bodyguards with government paying their salaries to boot.
Being ensconced in the comfort of Bilibid keeps them safe and secure from the murderous street violence that attends the drug trade outside as they order their henchmen to fight for turf in the continues game of musical chairs in the world of illegal drugs.
So for drug lords -- in the old system: death penalty or no death penalty? Why should they worry?
President Rodrigo Duterte knows what he is doing in this drug war. And with him putting his life on the line to solve this problem -- the least we could do is reciprocate and give him our full support. --by Gil Ramos