Pro-life senatorial aspirants from different political parties denounced extra-judicial killings (EJK) of alleged drug peddlers during the Pro-Life and Candidates’ Forum at The Aristocrat Restaurant in Malate, Manila on Wednesday.
Former Manila Mayor Lito Atienza, who is seeking for a Senate seat under the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA), strongly condemned at the sideline of the forum EJK of suspected drug pushers.
An incumbent Buhay party-list representative, Atienza took swipe at PDP-Laban standard-bearer Rodrigo Duterte for openly advocating execution of alleged drug pushers and suspects of other crimes without the sanction of any judicial proceeding.
“Definitely, I’m against it,” he said. “That’s the reason why I’m against Duterte’s candidacy. No person has the right to kill.”
The execution of suspected criminals without the due process of the laws is not the solution to the problems that the country faces today, Atienza noted.
“He (Duterte) should not act as though he is God,” he protested.
Incumbent Sen. Tito Sotto (NPC), who bids for re-election in the May 9 elections, also denounced the manner by which suspected drug pushers are reportedly held accountable without any legal process.
“We can set up an isolated penitentiary for the big drug lords,” he told the audience in Filipino. Drug pushers, who mostly are forced by their economic condition into drugs, can be rehabilitated through a program.
Pasig City Rep. Roman Romulo, a Liberal Party member who is seeking for a Senate seat as an independent candidate, said the law should apply in getting suspected drug pushers accountable.
“Taking the life of a person without due process is violation of the Constitution,” he noted.
He, however, may favor legislation that would penalize drug lords with death if it would deter commission of drug-related offenses, like rape, murder and other heinous crimes, Romulo said.
In a recent statement, Duterte vowed to do away with drugs if he becomes President. He prefers to burn in hell in exchange for the safety and security of the people. (Oliver Samson)
In photo: Re-electionist Sen. Tito Sotto speaks at the Pro-Life Forum and Candidates at The Aristocrat Restaurant, Malate, Manila. (Oliver Samson)