With incoming President Rodrigo Duterte scheduled to take office on June 30, 2016, his political party PDP Laban would pursue the return of the Death Penalty in its legislative agenda. Now having a SUPER MAJORITY in the House of Representatives and the Senate, a CERTIFIED URGENT BILL from the Office of the President should have smooth sailing in Congress. In other words, we could be seeing the return of the Death Penalty in a few months. The new Death Penalty Law (assuming the bill is passed into law) can not be used retroactively. In other words those previously sentenced for HEINOUS CRIMES can not have their sentences upgraded from a LIFE SENTENCE to a Death Penalty. Therefore, the first Death Sentences can only be promulgated AFTER the Death Penalty Law is passed and published in the OFFICIAL GAZETTE. This means only cases currently pending in court, as well as future cases, can and will be ELIGIBLE for the DEATH PENALTY. This recent Quezon City multiple robbery with rape cases could very well qualify as having fulfilled the criteria for the Death Penalty.
First, deceit was used in luring the two robbery rape victims. The perpetrators presented themselves as legitimate operators of a vehicle for hire. Two, the use of a vehicle in the commission of a crime is an AGGRAVATING CIRCUMSTANCE. Three, the fact that more than one person committed the crimes would fulfill the definition of RAPE IN BAND, another AGGRAVATING CIRCUMSTANCE. Four, the criminals came prepared with materials to tie the hands of the victims at the back. This is an indication of PREMEDITATION, which means that the crimes were planned well in advance. One suspect, Wilfredo Lorenzo, is now in police custody while another, only identified as “Buddy” is still at large.
A swift passage of the Death Penalty Law, a quick trial and a fast appeals process in the Supreme Court which will decide with finality should give the Filipino people its first Death Penalty conviction and execution in a long while.