02375: The Verdict is Death

Noose, Oled Austin County Jail, Bellville, Texas 0130101348BW by Patick Feller
Today the House of Representatives voted to reinstate the death penalty for drug-related offenses with an overwhelming majority. Admittedly this does not come as a surprise as the second reading of the bill was pretty much a farce demonstrating that Congress was clearly under the control of President Duterte and his allies. And as he has repeatedly stressed, Duterte thinks he needs the death penalty back in effect in order to restore order in this country. And the supermajority is more than happy follow the President's marching orders despite previous public statements against the death penalty.

The result is rather depressing but that's just how things go in the Duterte government. With overwhelming numbers in both Congress and the Senate, almost any priority legislation that Duterte calls for is bound to get passed. Sure, there will be weird bits like how this death penalty is so narrow in focus to the point of being ridiculous, but he's still getting his death penalty, right? Isn't that all that matters for now?

There are some expected names on the list of those who voted for the death penalty and yet there are also some surprising names that come across as disappointing more than anything else. But politics is a dirty, dirty business, especially Philippine politics.

The death penalty in itself may actually be an effective tool given a perfect justice system. But we've clearly demonstrated that the justice system is anything but effective and efficient as cases drag on for years, innocents are repeatedly sent to jail for crimes they did not commit and justice can practically be bought either through direct bribery or merely having more funds to pay legal feels for the ridiculously lengthy duration of court cases.

It is a dark day indeed. It's now up to the Senate to kill this measure, but signs indicate that it's unlikely that they will vote against the bill.