HOUSE senior Deputy Minority Leader and Buhay Hayaang Yumabong (Buhay) party-list Rep. Lito Atienza has accused Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II of “misleading” the public in order to drum up support for the death penalty.
“Secretary Aguirre’s claim that death sentences are needed to implant fear in the hearts of hardened criminals has long been discredited by extensive social science research,” Atienza said.
“Ample studies have demonstrated that people commit crimes largely in the heat of passion such as in cases of road rage or because they are under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or because they are mentally ill. These would-be criminals give little or no forethought to their actions and won’t be discouraged by any fear of death,” Atienza said.
Atienza said the people, who actually contemplate their crimes beforehand, such as professional killers as well as syndicated drug traffickers, robbers, kidnappers and carjackers, intend and expect to avoid capture and punishment.
The lawmaker said the best way to quash crime would be to guarantee the swift apprehension and imprisonment of felons, especially those hoping to get away.
Aguirre earlier said the death penalty has to be restored to send a chilling effect to criminals.
“If the death penalty will be strictly enforced, there is no iota of doubt that this will instill the fear of death in the minds of would-be criminals. In this way, people with criminal minds would think twice before they commit offenses, especially heinous ones,” Aguirre said.
Atienza, however, said the death penalty runs counter to the faith of most Filipinos.
“More than 86 percent of Filipinos are Catholics, and our faith teaches us that every human being has the right to life, which is absolutely sacred,” he said.