Better to spare the life of a criminal than to wrongly execute an innocent person.
On this note, Sen. Panfilo “Ping” Lacson changed his stance on the death penalty for heinous crimes, even as he pushed for life imprisonment and penal reforms as a better alternative.
“Mas matimbang ang ma-save ang buhay ng wrongly convicted. So nagbago ang aking pananaw, iwi-withdraw ko ang aking na-file na bill (It is more important to save the life of a wrongly convicted person. That said, I will withdraw the bill I filed on death penalty),” Lacson said at the first LACSON-SOTTO media forum on Thursday.
Lacson said that after giving the matter long thought – especially after watching the program “The Life of David Gale,” he decided that there are better solutions than execution even of those convicted of heinous crimes like drug-related offenses.
He supported Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto III’s suggestion to confine drug lords in a “super max” penitentiary, with no means of communication with the outside world.
Lacson is running for President under Partido Reporma while Sotto is running for Vice President under the Nationalist People’s Coalition.
“Napakaganda ng suggestion ni Senate President Sotto. Magdurusa habang buhay at walang gagawin kundi magsisi. Kung habang buhay hanggang mamatay sa kulungan (Senate President Sotto’s suggestion is very good. Let the convicts be imprisoned for life, nothing to do but to regret their crimes for the rest of their lives),” Lacson said.
But Lacson also said it is important to reform the penitentiary system, to prevent a repeat of favors being granted to moneyed convicts.
“Ireporma ang penitentiary system… Mas mainam na ang guilty ikulong habang buhay sa halip na inosente ma-execute dahil sa pagkakamali (We should reform the penitentiary system. Better that the guilty be imprisoned for life than to have innocents executed because of a wrong judgment),” he said.