Alvarez: ‘Shoot to kill’ criminals caught in the act
MANILA, Philippines – If it were up to Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, he would prefer that the police shoot criminals caught in the act of committing a crime.
“Siyempre, i-shoot to kill na lang lahat ‘yan on site when you [see them] commit a crime, ‘di ba? ‘Wag mong pahulihin ‘yan,” said Alvarez in a press conference on Wednesday, February 1.
(Of course, just shoot to kill everyone on site when you see them commit a crime, right? Don’t arrest them anymore.)
When asked who would be carrying out the shooting, the Davao del Norte 1st District representative said: “The law enforcers. Anyway, [it's] provided for by the law.”
Alvarez expressed this sentiment when asked about the opposition of some lawmakers to the reimposition of the death penalty for heinous crimes, a priority measure of President Rodrigo Duterte. (READ: House delays start of death penalty debate)
The Speaker, a co-author of the bill, had repeatedly told critics they must take the position of the victims of heinous crimes as he justified the return of capital punishment. (READ: Alvarez on Church opposition to death penalty: 'Why protect evil?’)
He cited the case of alleged child trafficker Liezyl Margallo and live-in partner Peter Gerard Scully, who ran an international child cyberpornography trade. The two had filmed a naked one-year-old girl who was hung upside down, with her hands tied and legs drawn apart. The girl was sexually assaulted and tortured, with her ordeal caught on video.
“Anong gusto niyo – merong death penalty bill na merong proseso or patayin na lang diyan ‘yung mga criminal? Napanood niyo ba sa [television] ‘yung pedophile? Kayo ba, gusto niyong buhayin ‘yung ganung klase ng tao? Pati one-year-old, inaabuso?” asked Alvarez. (READ: An eye for an eye: Can the death penalty bring justice to victims?)
(What do you want – we have the death penalty bill that comes with processes or let’s just kill the criminals? Did you watch on television the piece about the pedophile? You want that kind of person to live? Someone who abuses even a one-year-old?)
“Tapos due process, hearing lahat, bubuhayin mo pa? May sira na ulo niyan eh!.. ‘Yan ba kayang gawin ng taong matino? Those are evil deeds. Grabe, ‘di ka na naawa [dun sa biktima]. Tapos tayo maawa sa kanya?” he added.
(You’ll give her due process, hearing, and let her live? She is crazy!… Is that something a sane person will do? Those are evil deeds. She did not have mercy on her victim. Then we will have mercy on her?)
‘Put yourself in victims’ shoes’
Alvarez reasoned that opposers of the death penalty find it easy to call for due process for suspects because the crime was not committed against them or their loved ones.
“Kasi alam mo, try to feel 'yung magulang nung mga biktimang 'yun. Anong mararamdaman natin? It’s easy for us to say due process, 'wag mong patayin, ganyan. It’s easy for us to say kasi hindi nangyari sa atin yun. Eh paano kung nangyari sa atin?” Alvarez said.
(Try to feel for the parents of the victims. How would you feel? It’s easy for us to say due process, don’t kill. It’s easy for us to say because it didn’t happen to us. But what if it did?)
A day before, Amnesty International released a report saying that “pressures from the top” drive police killings in the government’s war against illegal drugs. At least 7,000 drug suspects have been killed in legitimate police operations and apparent summary killings nationwide.
Duterte already ordered the Philippine National Police to pull out from the drug war following the alleged involvement of policemen in the murder of South Korean businessman Jee Ick Joo. – Rappler.com