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VP Binay backs death penalty revival

January 19, 2011 8:57pm

Saying that Filipinos need “discipline," Vice President Jejomar Binay on Wednesday joined calls for the re-imposition of death penalty in light of the perceived resurgence of heinous crimes in the country.

Binay said this in an interview while visiting the wake of Emerson Lozano, son of Marcos lawyer Oliver Lozano, whose charred body was found in Porac, Pampanga, last Friday.

"'Yung sa death penalty, sumusuporta kami na ibalik na hong muli (We support the re-imposition of death penalty)," a glum-looking Binay said in the interview, which was aired over GMA News’ “24 Oras."

Binay is the highest government official who favored the death penalty, which was abolished in 2006 by then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. President Benigno Aquino III had earlier said he is not in favor of bringing back capital punishment.

"Of course mayroong mga oposisyon, but kulturang Pilipino itong pinag-uusapan natin. Ang kultura ng Pilipino, kailangan ng disiplina (Of course there are those who oppose this, but we are talking about Filipino culture here, and Filipino culture requires discipline)," Binay said.

Calls for the re-imposition of the death penalty grew after the discovery of three charred remains, including Emerson Lozano’s, in Central Luzon last week. The three, two of them car dealers, were believed to be victims of a car theft syndicate since they were last seen accompanying prospective buyers for a test drive.

Among those who are calling for the revival of the death penalty are members of the anti-crime group Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC).

At the Senate, there is a pending bill filed by Sen. Juan Miguel Zubiri calling for the re-imposition of the death penalty. Zubiri filed Senate Bill 2383 in August last year following the killing of eight tourists from Hong Kong by dismissed police officer Rolando Mendoza.

Also on Wednesday, President Aquino expressed confidence that the killing of Lozano, his driver Ernani Sensil, and Venson Evangelista, another car dealer, will be solved soon.

“I’m optimistic on the solution of all these cases, hindi lang yung sa anak ni Atty. Lozano but other cases will be solved soon," he told reporters on the sidelines of the 65th anniversary of the Liberal Party at the Club Filipino in Greenhills, San Juan.

He, however, refused to reveal the details given to him by police authorities. “I’m expecting developments on it. I’ve been asked not to comment on any details because of the ongoing operations." - with Amita Legaspi/KBK, GMANews.TV
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