Domondon: A matter of life or death

THE proposal to re-impose the death penalty, at least in relation to the war on drugs, seems to be gaining ground in Congress particularly in the Senate.

In a recent statement by Senate President Vicente Sotto III, he acknowledged the possibility of the Upper House voting in favor for the return of the death penalty but only on instances of high level drug trafficking. Although he also admitted that in the voting process, the proposal will undergo a “squeaker” with about 13 or 14 in favor. When queried whether plunder will be included as recommended by the President, he admitted that it is possible to have the death penalty approve even with the inclusion but it will also be a close decision with around 13 or 14 senators voting in favor.

Senator Cynthia Villar shared the same sentiment with respect to the reason for the return of the death penalty but clarified that although there is a growing consensus in the Senate going in favor of the return of the death penalty, it should only be for drug lords or those involve in high level drug trafficking.

In an extreme view our boxing idol, Senator Emmanual Pacquiao is in favor of bringing back the death penalty especially for drug traffickers and suggests that those to be meted with the ultimate punishment be made to face a firing squad. That is certainly a painful way to go out of existence.

On the opposite end of the spectrum we find some sectors such as the Church wary of the return of capital punishment in the country and Buhay Party list representative Lito Atienza of the lower house expressed fears that abuses may happen with the bringing back of the death penalty.

It must be observed that even as our lawmakers hem and haw on the terminal sanction proposal the war on drugs seems to be increasing in intensity with numerous drug busts being implemented that have resulted in arrests or death of drug suspects.

We have to understand that in the matter of death for drug traffickers and drug lords it is already a given in their kind of nefarious and illegal business. Those who have embraced the illegal drug trade have already accepted the risks involved and for them death is just a cessation of their activities. It is actually a kill or be killed type of enterprise where you not only have to evade and elude capture by the authorities but also engage in pitch battles with those competing for your business. For those involved with the selling or manufacture of illegal drugs killing and getting killed it is simply the way of doing business.

So even with the re-imposition of the death penalty people will still get into the illegal drugs business because it is simply too profitable to pass up never mind if it is illegal and you might be put to death for doing it.

This is the mentality that has been nurtured by the illegal drugs industry. It is a get rich quick scheme that tempts the baser instincts of the ordinary individual into becoming wealthy and powerful at the expense and notwithstanding the injury suffered by others.

The death penalty will not reduce illegal drugs or reduce the number of those involved in its proliferation considering that to them being a drug pusher, drug trafficker or drug lord is always a matter of life or death.

SunStar Publishing Inc.