Lacson, Sotto: Lifetime imprisonment preferred over death penalty

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, November 4) — Senator Ping Lacson and Senate President Tito Sotto — running mates in the upcoming elections — said they now prefer lifetime imprisonment over the death penalty.

"Sabi ni Tito Sen...nag author siya ng death penalty bill nung siya ay naging senador. Pero dun the course of time nagbago ang kaniyang pananaw. Ako ganon din, sabi ko I'm also a convert," Lacson, who is running for president in the 20222 elections, said at a virtual briefing on Thursday.

"Nung namulat yung aking kaisipan mas importante na masave yung buhay ng isang inosente na naconvict kaysa doon sa magexecute tayo ng talagang convicted at talagang napatunayang nagkasala," he added. "Nung tinimbang ko yun, sa tingin ko mas matimbang masave ng hindi pala yung, wrongly convicted."

[Translation: Tito Sen said he authored a death penalty bill when he became a senator. But in the course of time, his opinion changed. It's the same with me, I'm also a convert... I realized it's more important to save the life of an innocent person who was convicted rather than execute one who was proven guilty and convicted. When I weighed it, I believe it's better to save someone who was wrongly convicted.]

Lacson said a movie called "The Life of David Gale" which he saw on the streaming app Netflix made him change his perspective on the death penalty. He said the character in the movie set himself up to show that an innocent man could be executed.

Sotto, meanwhile, said he saw a much better solution for the punishment of drug traffickers whom he said were the target of the death penalty bill which he filed when he became a senator in the 90s.

"Iniisip namin e di ihiwalay itong sila...ihiwalay ang high level drug traffickers," he said at the briefing.

[Translation: We thought why not separate high level drug traffickers.]

Sotto even suggested moving such criminals into an environment similar to Alcatraz.

"Parang mas mabuti 'yon kesa ipasa mo pa ang death penalty na di mapasa-pasa," he said.

[Translation: That seems much better than passing the death penalty that seems impossible to pass.]

Lacson said this was a better option than the death penalty.

"Magdurusa habang buhay at talagang...wala siyang gagawin doon kung hindi magsisi. Kasi kung habang buhay, hanggang mamatay na siya sa kulungan," he said.

[Translation: They will suffer for the rest of their lives...they will not do anything but repent. Because it's for life, they will be there until they die.]