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Philippines’ President-elect to bring back death penalty

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By IANS Updated: Jun 28, 2016 12:49 am
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MANILA, JUNE 27 : Philippines’ President-Elect Rodrigo Duterte on Monday said he will seek to reinstate the death penalty in the country for “retribution” against criminals.

“I believe in retribution. Why? You should pay. When you kill someone, rape, you should die,” Duterte said during an address in Davao on Monday, three days before being sworn in as the President.

The president-elect, who promised during his election campaign to end crime in the Philippines in less than six months, also vowed to be extremely tough with criminals, according to local broadcaster ABS-CBN.

Duterte rejected reports by human rights organisations that say the death penalty does not reduce crime rates.
“They say ‘It will not deter.’ It did not prevent, obstruct or deter persons from committing crimes. Correct. Why? Because it was not implemented,” he said.

The President-elect has often defended the reintroduction of the death penalty — abolished in 2006 by former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo — to reduce crime rates.

Duterte, who has given security forces a “shoot-to-kill” order against members of organised crime syndicates who resist arrest, also wants to impose death by hanging, not only for people who commit murder but also for crimes related to illegal drugs, rapes and car thefts in which the owner is killed.

Meanwhile, police said recently the number of smugglers killed since May 9, when Duterte was elected the country’s President, has increased 200 per cent.

The Philippine president-elect says he will aggressively promote artificial birth control in the country even at the risk of getting in a fight with the dominant Catholic church, which staunchly opposes the use of contraceptives.

Rodrigo Duterte said Monday that having many children has driven families deeper into poverty, and he reiterated his recommendation for Filipinos to have three at most.

Duterte jokingly threatened to have penises of defiant men chopped off and cited his family planning program as a longtime mayor in southern Davao city, where he has offered cash rewards to villagers who volunteer to undergo free vasectomy or ligation.

Many politicians have tried to avoid colliding with influential Catholic bishops in the Philippines by taking a vague position or not aggressively pushing the use of contraceptives.

Critics have long dubbed Duterte the “Filipino Donald Trump” for his irreverent political style and aggressive nature. He’s been called a “butcher” for advocating the murder of drug traffickers and other criminals.

Duterte, 71, won the May 9 presidential election on a bold promise to end crime and corruption within six months of his presidency.

That vow resonated among crime-weary Filipinos, though police officials considered it campaign rhetoric that was impossible to accomplish.

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By IANS Updated: Jun 28, 2016 12:49:21 am