A House leader filed a measure seeking to impose the death penalty on government officials and employees who are allowing drug mules to enter or leave the country.
“The height of recklessness of involved officials and employees is deplorable. It is either gross incompetence, overt negligence or blatant corruption,” House Committee on Dangerous Drugs chairman Robert Ace Barbers said.
Citing reports from the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), Barbers said as of June 2016, there are 2,491 Filipinos detained abroad for drug-related cases.
Drug couriers constitute a large number of the given figure.
Barbers noted that while Filipino drug mules languish in jails abroad and the country continues to reap shame and burden, no government official or employee involved in facilitating drug mules has ever been convicted.
“The drug mules were able to exit the country but were apprehended straightaway inside the airports of their destination. I’m deeply concerned that Philippine authorities have always denied knowledge and involvement, and even feigned innocence. In this new administration, there’s no room for reckless people. Negligence is an inexcusable crime, which blundering employees should pay for with their life,” Barbers said.
Barbers’ House Bill 3418 prohibits convicted public officer or employee from being granted pardon or parole.
The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency leadership yesterday expressed firm belief that the re-imposition of the death penalty will be a strong deterrent to drug-related crime.
“Manufacturers, smugglers, pushers and all the more coddlers and protectors of illegal drugs in the country, both foreign and domestic, who were proven guilty in court, deserve nothing more than capital punishment,” said PDEA Director General Isidro S. Lapeña.
The retired 3-star police general said he is worried by the fact that drug manufacturers and dealers specifically big-time drug lords are taking advantage of the country’s drug law to carry out their illicit drug activities.
“Harsher penalties must be dealt for all drug traffickers to send a strong signal to them not to turn our country into a business hub for drugs. Our judicial system must toughen up because foreign-led organized drug syndicates tend to capitalize on our laws which still have loose ends,” Lapeña said as he bewailed that in some cases, foreigners convicted of criminal acts are being deported to their mother country after serving time behind bars.
On the part of convicted local drug offenders, investigations have revealed that a number of detained drug lords are remotely running their trafficking operations even within the confines of prison.
“These high-profile inmates can still make contacts outside and operate freely while in incarceration,”Lapeña said.
“Evil given for evil done-I believe that the re-imposition of the death penalty is a form of retribution. You have to pay. It is what is given in return for past good or evil that you have done. We are not promoting a culture of violence here. However, it is morally justified in levying a death sentence to people who seek to destroy the lives of our people- the Filipino youth in general. This is our obligation for the sake of our future generations,” the PDEA chief said.