Two Sides of a Coin: Death Penalty
Death penalty is globally known as capital punishment or the highest form of punishment that the government can sanction against a persecuted person to be subjected to execution for his or her crime. The death penalty had always been a controversial issue wherever land one may come from since it has a lot of ethical and religious matters tied to it. The death penalty, up to this day, continues to be a debate on whether or not it should be applied in the Philippines due to questioning on whether or not Death Penalty really is a suitable punishment for those who commit crimes.
Death penalty alone could strike fear in the minds of any criminal, rendering them to think twice or more before committing any act of violence or any offenses against the law. The Capital Punishment is a way for the rich or the wealthy to guard themselves against any offender through sometimes, by falsely accusing them. Proper enforcement of the capital punishment based on different and proper circumstances are highly prioritized due to the value of the human lives involved and to the upholding of the dignity of men, thus the enforcement of the capital punishment is not to be used by those enforcing it to stoop low to that of a criminal’s level by lashing out on vulnerable civilians with a façade of applying justice through the same brutality that any other criminal can give (Unknown, 2012) .
In a land such as the Philippines where violence and corruption runs rampant, especially amongst the justice system, there is no denying that with the possible reimplementation of Republic Act No. 7659 or the Death Penalty Act, a lot if not most Filipinos will lose their right to life and get prosecuted to those who have less – the marginalized – and be in favor to those with proper level of wealth. There is no mitigation, no bail for those who are scorned by society’s elite, their awaited death being the sole comfort as an end to their suffering. As long as a way is provided for the law to be swayed by position, money, or even possessions, the death penalty will be the pinnacle of pain for the pauperized man.
Death penalty has two sides, much like that of a coin. It can be viewed as a satirical excuse for men whose minds have been closed, to ridicule and commit acts against the poor, the innocent, and the vulnerable for men’s personal amusement and another view in which the extra judicial killing is a must for the proper re-enforcement of peace and order in society. Based on the reports presented by the Philippine National Police as of the 13th of September 2016 up to the 23rd of April 2017, over 7000 total deaths were recorded both from formal police operations and through vigilante manner of murders or killings. The report presented alone is enough to question on the validity of whether or not that death penalty should be reinforced considering the numerous and maybe unjustified killings by police or police officials alone.
To be clearer, death penalty has both supporters and those who abhor or do not wish to see the law implemented. Death penalty, for those who are against it, is viewed as a sardonic presentation of how flawed the justice system is in the Philippines. To make a point, as displayed in many videos (portrayed, especially in local news networks in the country), the main cause of the want of the Philippine president to reimplementation the capital punishment were due to the high volume of drug addicts and other unlawful criminals and also for the promotion of proper peace and order with the belief that it can be achieved based on the leadership of former president Ferdinand Marcos.
For those who oppose the death penalty, it should be noted that extra judicial killings were consequences for the want of reinforcing this law and further poor consequences were felt by those who were deemed as drugged addict be it on a factual basis or allegedly, and those who refuse apprehension or even just walking along the pavements of their barangays, and homes. These people were rendered as vigilantes and abhorring citizens to which some enforcers had taken advantage of and abused their powers by apprehending or sometimes beating up (some cases had shown that victims ended up dying though most were not made public), resulting in making this a daily routine and an increase in the amount of bodies piled up due to extra judicial killings and abuse.
It is also important to note, apart from trials being very costly which imparts strain on the wrongly accused – the marginalized, and the justification of killing an individual, the death penalty does not and never has promulgated a hundred percent (100%) rate of stopping criminals and their acts and a very good example of this is the continuation of the unlawful killings continuously conducted in the Philippines.
As the debate continues on, some find better alternatives than the death penalty since Death Penalty is an expendable measure in which other bills, laws, or acts may promote humanitarian efforts into bettering the individual of a nation, especially those afflicted with undesirable wounds such as abuse and derogatory acts of the poor from the rich. Take New Zealand for example, a country, instead of implementing the Death Penalty Act decided to greatly fund their project called “The Retreat New Zealand” which is a rehabilitation facility which treats alcoholism and addiction in such a way that the guests throughout the country are introduced into “a safe and caring environment led by highly qualified professionals and volunteers whose drinking, drug or other substance abuse problem has been solved” (theretreatnz.org.nz, 2016). Through rehabilitation such as that found in New Zealand, these centers are able to reform people who were once addicted or were involved in horrendous crimes and be able to produce contributing citizens to society who are well educated and informed how society can function as a single entity.
Now, from this author’s perspective on whether or not death penalty should be reinforced, they believe that it should not be since the Capital Punishment or Death Penalty Act is an inhumane excuse by society as a form of permanent relief for people who are scorned or ostracized by either the wealthy or those who hold personal grudges on some of the unfortunately accused and without any proper process on how to approach, investigate, and solve the problems presented in communities.
- Death Penalty: Moral and Judicial Debate under the Philippine Government. (2012). Retrieved on 1/30/2018 from http://armageddonviews.weebly.com/blog/death-penalty-moral-and-judicial-debate-under-the-philippine-government.
- Bueza, M. (2016). In Numbers: The Philippines’ ‘War on Drugs’. Retrieved on 1/31/2018 from http://www.rappler.com/newsbreak/iq/145814-numbers-statistics-philippines-war-drugs.
- Reasons why the Death Penalty Should Not Be Implemented in Philippines. Retrieved on 1/30/2018 from http://www.thetoptens.com/reasons-why-death-penalty-should-not-be-implemented-philippines/.
- The Retreat New Zealand. (2016). Retrieved on 1/30/2018 from http://theretreatnz.org.nz/.