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Death penalty to spur ‘horrific abuses’ by rotten cops— Atienza

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Police scalawags are bound to exploit the hazard of the death penalty to commit “horrific abuses” against citizens, Buhay party-list Rep. Lito Atienza warned Friday.

“There are many corrupt officers everywhere. In fact, no less than President Duterte himself at one point tagged the police as ‘rotten to the core’ and reckoned that four out of every 10 officers are engaged in all sorts of criminal activities,” he said in a statement.

“Once Congress revives the death penalty, these police crooks will surely brandish the death penalty as the Sword of Damocles to hang over the heads of their potential victims of kidnapping, extortion and evidence-planting,” Atienza said.

“Abuses are guaranteed to inflame once twisted officers have the ‘deathtrap’ at their disposal. They will have a heyday shaking people down with false or fabricated evidence,” Atienza, former three-term mayor of Manila, said.

Besides the kidnapping-for-extortion and murder of South Korean businessman Jee Ick-Joo by anti-narcotics agents, Atienza cited the case of a police officer in Manila who raped a 15-year-old girl in exchange for the freedom of her parents who were nabbed for alleged drug offenses.

Atienza said Sen. Panfilo Lacson’s proposal to also inflict the death penalty on officers engaged in evidence-planting would not deter police rascals from perpetrating abuses.

“As demonstrated in previous cases, shady officers operate like syndicates and connive not only in committing abuses, but also in protecting themselves against possible discovery,” Atienza pointed out.

To suppress illegal drug trafficking, Atienza urged the Duterte administration to first address rampant corruption at the Bureau of Customs.

“To begin with, Customs corruption is the reason why billions of pesos worth of shabu in shipping containers continue to slip into our ports of entry and flood our streets,” Atienza said.

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