• Incoming president shot back at ‘bleeding heart’ critics opposing his move to push the return of the death penalty
  • He said capital punishment is fitting for criminals who commit heinous crimes since they have become inhuman
  • He also said death penalty will become an effective deterrent once examples are set

DAVAO CITY, Philippines – Lashing back at critics who are opposing his vow to bring back the death penalty in the Philippines, incoming President Rodrigo Duterte said capital punishment is fitting for criminals who have committed inhuman acts against their victims.

“They say that death penalty is inhuman. But what is so human about killing an 18-year-old child or raping her? Drugs have reduced human killing into a bestial state,” Rappler quoted him as saying.

Duterte, who made his remarks during a turnover ceremony of the Davao City police, also brushed aside assertions by his critics that the death penalty is not an effective deterrent to crime. He explained that it became useless only because no criminals were actually executed during the time death penalty was still in effect.

“Despite the fact that there is the death penalty law at that time, it never deterred the criminals from committing their acts. But of course, because they never implemented the law,” he said. “No one was being killed so how will anyone be deterred?”

“You don’t need to get scared. You will really die. Because this part of the law says, this is retribution.You pay for what you did,” he added.

Calls for the return of the death penalty has been mounting amid rising criminality in the Philippines. However, opponents of capital punishment like the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) have also voiced their opposition to its reinstatement. Critics also fear the present justice system would lead to numerous innocents being falsely accused and executed.

The death penalty was placed under moratorium during the administration of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.