Bato, Pacquiao support reimposition of death penalty for heinous crimes
Aileen Cerrudo • July 30, 2020 • 567
Senators Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa and Manny Pacquiao reiterated their support for the reimposition of death penalty for heinous crimes.
During Senate’s regular session on Wednesday (July 29), Pacquiao said reinstating death penalty in the country will not be illegal in the eyes of God.
The Senator previously filed a bill that would impose death penalty on heinous crimes which include manufacturing and trafficking dangerous drugs.
“Hindi po labag sa mata ng gobyerno, sa mata ng Panginoon. Dahil biblically po, allowed po ang gobyerno (It is not illegal in the eyes of the government, in the eyes of the Lord. Because, biblically, the government is allowed to do so) the authority, which is established by God to impose heinous crimes especially death penalty,” Pacquiao said.
Meanwhile, during his privilege speech, Dela Rosa reiterated that reimposing death penalty would be the solution in stopping drug lords and the continuing drug activities inside detention facilities.
The Senator also noted that crime rate has dropped when death penalty was imposed in 1993. He also said that the drug problem is also considered as a global pandemic which should also be prioritized.
“It is also considered a global pandemic itong drug problem. So, hindi naman siguro ibig sabihin na porke tayo may kinakaharap na global pandemic na COVID-19, hihinto na lang tayo sa paggawa ng ibang batas para sa ibang mga issues na kinakaharap ng ating lipunan (This drug problem is also considered as a global pandemic. Just because we are facing the COVID-19 pandemic does not mean we would stop making laws for other issues faced by society),” he said.
Dela Rosa was appointed as a member of a Senate panel under the Senate Committee on Justice and Human Rights after Senator Sherwin Gatchalian relinquished his seat.
The said Senate panel will vote on bills including the reimposition of death penalty in the country. However, panel chairman Senator Richard Gordon said the bill should be discussed at the proper time.
“I will not sponsor it because I do not believe in it. We will take it up at the proper time,” he said. AAC (with reports from Harlene Delgado)
MANILA, Philippines – Senators on Monday gave varied reactions to the appointment of Police Major General Debold Sinas as the new chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP).
Earlier in the day, Malacañang announced that Sinas has been designated by President Rodrigo Duterte to lead the country’s police force.
For Senator Panfilo Lacson, a former PNP chief, Sinas is a “good choice” for the top PNP post.
“Barring any controversy that Police Maj. Gen. Debold Sinas got entangled with in the past, he is a good choice for the top Philippine National Police post,” Lacson said in a post.
“I’ve known him as a performer, always mission-oriented and undoubtedly will lead the police institution the way it should be led,” he added.
Sinas faced criticisms earlier this year for holding a “mañanita” or a pre-dawn birthday serenade in May that allegedly violated quarantine restrictions amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The incoming PNP chief has since apologized for the incident.
“That said, the birthday mañanita event was a hard lesson that I hope he has learned from, and which he will surely remember whenever he will be confronted in making decisions affecting the PNP as well as his personal reputation,” Lacson said.
Senator Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa, also a former PNP chief, congratulated Sinas for his appointment, he is a “good choice,” and has a “proven track record.”
Meanwhile, Senator Sherwin Gatchalian advised Sinas to take this opportunity to prove that he is the best man for the job.
Senate President Vicente Sotto III also urged Sinas to reorient cops, especially those belonging to the anti-carnapping group, of the police protocols in dealing with suspects.
On the other hand, Senator Francis Pangilinan said Duterte’s choice of next PNP chief was not surprising at all.
“With all due respect, hindi na sorpresa na ang mga kakampi o kaalyado na nasasangkot sa mga kaso o katiwalian ay hindi pinaparusahan, kinokonsinti o di kaya ay promoted pa,” he said in a statement, referring to the alleged treatment by the president to Health Secretary Francisco Duque III, and former Customs Commissioners Nicanor Faeldon and Isidro Lapeña who were linked to various issues.
Senator Risa Hontiveros also hit Duterte’s decision on Sinas’ appointment, saying the president “could have made a more meritorious choice for Philippine National Police Chief.”
“While Debold Sinas was my late husband’s underclassman and an old friend, unfortunately, the poor manner in which the PNP has acted on the waves of violence as well as minimized the risks of the coronavirus pandemic under his previous commands betrays his level of competence for this new role,” she said.
Sinas will be replacing PNP chief General Camilo Cascolan who is set to leave the police service on Tuesday, Nov. 10.
Malacañang earlier assured that Sinas is not yet off the hook over the mañanita mess despite his installment as PNP’s top cop.
MANILA, Philippines – A Senate bill seeking to lower the minimum height requirement for aspiring law enforcers has been approved on third and final reading.
Senate Bill No. (SBN) 1563 or the Philippine National Police (PNP), Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP), Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP), and Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) Height Equality Act was approved with 23 affirmative votes, zero negative votes, and zero abstention.
The proposed PNP, BFP, BJMP, and BuCor Height Equality law seeks to amend the minimum height requirement for male applicants to five feet and two inches from the current 5’3; and five feet tall from the current 5’2 requirement for females.
The measure also proposes to waive the height requirements for applicants belonging to the cultural communities or the indigenous people.
Senator Ronald dela Rosa, chairman of the Senate Committee on Public Order and Dangerous Drugs and sponsor of the measure, said the approval of the bill would allow the PNP, BFP, BJMP and BuCor to accept applicants who have not been gifted with towering height.
“I still believe that sacrifice, dedication and service to the country cannot be measured by height nor by any physical characteristics given by the unseen hand of our Supreme Being,” Dela Rosa said in his explanatory note.
The Senator explained that given the required mandate of uniformed personnel, and for practicality in accomplishing tasks, there is still the need to retain a minimum height requirement for them to be able perform their duties and responsibilities exceptionally.
During his manifestation after the approval, Dela Rosa cited the late President Ramon Magsaysay’s credo: “He who has less in life should have more in law.”
Dela Rosa thanked his colleagues for supporting the measure.
The bill is in substitution of SBN 312 introduced by Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri, Senate President Vicente Sotto III and Sen. Panfilo Lacson; SBN 405 filed by Sen. Francis Tolentino; and SBN 871 authored by Dela Rosa.
A counterpart bill in the House of Representatives remains pending.
MANILA, Philippines – Senator Manny Pacquiao on Friday said he has filed a resolution calling for a one-year suspension of the increase in Philippine Health Insurance (PhilHealth) premium contributions for healthcare workers amid the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) crisis.
In Senate Resolution 429, Pacquiao urged the Senate to call for the suspension of the increase in Philhealth premium rate for healthcare professionals for the year 2020 “as a token of gratitude” to their sacrifices amid the coronavirus outbreak.
The senator filed the resolution as Philhealth is poised to implement an increase in premium payments from 2.75% to 3% of its members’ monthly salary.
The increase is provided in the Universal Health Care Act, which provides for the automatic enrolment of all Filipino citizens in the government’s National Health Insurance Program. The law also mandates an annual increase in premium rate until it reaches 5% by 2024.
“The first year of the implementation of the increased rate of premium contributions, coincided with the advent and continuation of the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic in the Philippines,” the resolution read.
“This has constrained most, if not all, health care professionals and other health care workers in the country sacrificing and risking their well-being and even their lives, to help cure the afflicted and stem the surge of transmission of the disease caused by the Covid-19 virus,” it added.
Pacquiao also pointed out that the pandemic has resulted in the “disruption of the professional practice of the health care professionals concomitantly leading to the marked decrease in the income of health care professionals and related health care workers, and to some, even to the closure of their clinics.”
“Such a suspension may help these frontliners in a small way, but the recognition and expression of gratitude will go a little farther to support them moving forward,” he said.
The Philippine Medical Association (PMA) earlier called on the government to suspend the premium payment increase for medical workers amid the COVID-19 outbreak.
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