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Death Penalty as Punishment in the Philippines

What is Death Penalty?

Death penalty, also called capital punishment, is when


a government or state executes (kills) someone, usually but not always because
they have committed a serious crime. A crime that can be punished with the
death penalty is called a capital crime or a capital offense. Most of the countries
that have a death penalty use it on murderers, and for other serious crimes such
as rape or terrorism.

Death Penalty in the Philippines

The Philippines was the first Asian country that abolished the death penalty
in1987. But six year safter it has reimposed the death penalty, the Philippines has
overtaken its Asian neighbors and hasthe most number of death convicts.Within less
than a year, however, the military establishment was lobbying for its
reimposition as ameans to combat the "intensifying" offensives of the CPP/NPA
guerrillas. Gen. Fidel V. Ramos, thenChief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines
and later elected President of the Philippines in 1992,was among those who
were strongly calling for the reintroduction of the death penalty againstrebellion,
murder and drug trafficking.In mid 1987, a bill to reinstate the death penalty
was submitted to Congress. Military pressure wasvery much evident in the
preamble which cited the pestering insurgency as well asthe recommendations
of the police and the military as compelling reasons for the reimposition ofthe
death penalty. When Ramos was elected as President in 1992, he declared that the
reimposition of the deathpenalty would be one of his priorities. Political offenses
such as rebellion were dropped from thebill..In December 1993, RA 7659 restoring
the death penalty was signed into law. The law makersargued the deteriorating
crime situation was a compeling reason for its reimposition. The mainreason
given was that the death penalty is a deterrent to crime. In 1996, RA 8177 was
approved,stipulating lethal injection as the method of execution. (Santos
Lamban, PAHRA)

Death Penalty as Punishment

The concept of punishment, its definition, application and justification in the


past century is linked on the reformations resulting to abolishing of capital
punishments in many societies of the world; offenders are turned beneficiaries
of rehabilitation in favor of retribution and incarceration. On Platos theory,
execution benefits the criminal. Unlike the opposing advocates of death penalty,
the capital punishment is an abandonment of the criminals reformation and
rehabilitation, Plato is silent on this part. Instead he drew an analogy between
injustice and mental illness that the purpose of punishment is to bring cure to
the offender. If a cure is proven impossible, the sufferer should not continue to
live like patients tortured by a terminal illness hence it is better for them to die.

Dutertes stand on reinstating death penalty is not a contradicting point on


deterrence. The punishment philosophical reflection may help to understand the
political goals and feasibilities on social defense through incarceration, and
retributivism. To add on this, I would like to look on the capabilities and
preparedness of the Philippine government and its people on adapting the
capital punishment into the system again.