Castro: Death penalty law needs SC ‘cleansing’

The Supreme Court should complement a revived death penalty law by cleaning its own backyard, according to former Majority Leader and Capiz Rep. Fredenil Castro. (Contributed photo)

Some members of the House of Representatives urged the judiciary to clean its backyard to ensure fair judgment on cases punishable by death penalty as President Rodrigo Duterte pushes for the revival of capital punishment for drug-related crimes, plunder and other heinous crimes.

Allies of the President expressed support for the legislation but reminded the Supreme Court to fine-tune its job, too.

“The Supreme Court being the principal government branch should do their own cleansing and housekeeping to complement the law; the purpose and effect of the law,” former Majority Leader and Capiz Rep. Fredenil Castro told the Daily Tribune in a text message.

Castro said the Executive and the prosecution and police agencies should do their own job “to protect the innocent” and keep the mandate of equal protection clause stated under the Constitution.

He said he is in favor of the revival of the death penalty covering only “grave and heinous crimes but should include other wicked, odious and heinous crimes punishable under the Revised [Penal] Code and other special laws.”

This was also reiterated by former House Committee on Dangerous Drugs chair Surigao Del Norte Rep. Ace Barbers who authored a bill which seeks to restore death penalty on drug-related cases.

“Yes, though I will not deny the fact that there are also rogue judges in our justice system but its already up to the judicial branch of the government to cleanse and police their ranks in order to deliver justice,” Barbers told the Daily Tribune when asked if he trust the current judicial system.

Deputy Speaker Johnny Pimentel also said that he will support the President’s directive to penalize heinous crime with the capital punishment.

“Yes, I will support his [Mr. Duterte] call to revive the death penalty but only for heinous crimes such as rape with homicide, murder, etc.,” Pimentel told the Daily Tribune.