Former President Benigno Aquino III opposes his successor's push to bring back the death penalty for drug-related crimes, saying the imperfections in the Philippine justice system makes wrongful convictions likely.

Pro-death penalty Aquino changes mind: Paano ‘pag nagkamali sa paghatol?

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Former President Benigno Aquino III opposes his successor’s push to bring back the death penalty for drug-related crimes, saying the imperfections in the Philippine justice system makes wrongful convictions likely.

In an interview with Eagle News after President Rodrigo Duterte’s State of the Nation Address (SONA), Aquino said keeping a convict alive would allow the government to make amends in case the person is wrongfully convicted of a crime.

“Napaka-imperfect ng ating sistema at yung death, permanent. Wala ka nang rectification. Pag nagkamali doon, wala na, tapos na, sorry. So kung hindi natin mape-perfect yun, palagay ko hindi tama yung pagkakaroon ng death penalty,” he said.

Aquino shared that he used to be for the imposition of capital punishment until he was exposed to the justice system’s shortcomings as a lawmaker.

As a congressman from Tarlac, Aquino said he found out that lawyers from the Public Attorney’s Office handle as much as 35 clients each.

For the sake of convenience, he said some PAO lawyers resort to entering a guilty plea for their clients in exchange for a lesser sentence instead of fighting for the person’s innocence.

“May iba nagsasabi praktikal yun. May ibang nagsasabi, yung PAO hirap na hirap din. Pero sa dulo, kawawa rin naman yung tao. Kunwari inosente pero nakakulong,”Aquino said.

The former President noted that advances in technology have led to the discovery of wrongful convictions in other countries. He said it is not unlikely that such a development will happen in the Philippines.

“So buhay ka pa, may tsansa ka pang makabawi, parang ang death penalty, patay ka na, ay sorry ha?” he said.

Duterte reiterated his push for restoring the death penalty in his SONA Monday (July 22), asking Congress to bring back capital punishment for drug-related crimes and plunder.

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Holiday na nagka-pasok pa! Netizens fume as Duterte declares Nov 2, Dec 24, Dec 31 2021 as working days

Netizens expressed dismay with President Rodrigo Duterte’s decision to lessen the number of non-working days in 2021 in a bid to spur economic growth amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Duterte on Friday (February 26) signed Proclamation No. 1107, which categorized three days that had been declared special holidays as special working days. These are Nov. 2 (All Souls’ Day), Dec. 24 (Christmas Eve), and Dec. 31 (New Year’s Eve).

“For the country to recover from the adverse impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, there is a need to encourage economic productivity by, among others, minimizing work disruption and commemorating some special holidays as special (working) days instead,” Duterte’s proclamation read.

Writer @JerryGracio tweeted: “Hindi na special non-working holiday ang All Souls Day. Wala kasing kaluluwa si Duterte.”

Journalist @prinzmagtulis said: “Duterte government’s strategy to revive the economy: Ease monetary policy || Reject additional fiscal stimulus || Lessen holidays.”

Twitter user @Punongbayan_ asked: “Payag ka rito pero si Duterte, 365 days ang non-working holidays?”

Netizen @nicoquejano tweeted: “Okay. Sa mga nagsasabi na pumapasok naman talaga sila pag December 24 at December 31. Mga teh, Duterte just took away the holiday premium you get for working on a holiday! Suck on that, mga DDS. Puñeta.”

Twitter user @Nicocoleeta said: “Sana di na magkaroon ng masarap na ulam ever si Duterte at pamilya nya. pwede naman kasi tanggalin yung Nov. 30, Day of Valor, or Chinese New Year as holidays eh, pero nope yung mga holidays na in a way ‘need’ para macelebrate yung occassion with families.”

Markahan na kalendaryo! Here are the important dates for May 2022 elections

The election fever is expected to rise in the coming months as the May 2022 polls near.

While a number of politikos are still coy about their political plans, they are for sure laying down the groundwork for next year to meet the key dates set by the Commission on Elections (Comelec).

Resolution No. 10695 issued by the Comelec on February 10, 2021 detailed the calendar of activities in the run-up to the 2022 elections.

Among the important poll-related dates and activities listed in the resolution are:

May 31, 2021: Last day for filing of petitions for registration of coalition of political parties

October 1, 2021 to October 8, 2021: Period for filing certificates of candidacy and certificates of nomination for all elective positions

November 15, 2021: Last day for the substitute of an official candidate of a political party or coalition who withdrew, died, or was disqualified by final judgment to file certificate of candidacy in order to reflect the name of the substitute on the official ballot.

February 8, 2022 to May 7, 2022: Campaign period for candidates for president, vice president, senator and party-list groups.

March 25, 2022 to May 7, 2022: Campaign period for candidates for members of the House of Representatives and other local positions.

DOJ assures review of gov’t drug-related ops will continue

The government will continue to review anti-illegal drugs operations where deaths have occurred, Department of Justice (DOJ) Undersecretary Adrian Sugay assured on Friday (Feb. 26).

“What we have thus far is an initial report,” Sugay pointed out.

“And we intend to continue the review of cases involving anti-illegal drug operations where deaths occurred,” he assured.

“We intend to come out with further findings and recommendations,” he added.

Last Wednesday (Feb. 24) Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra reported there were irregularities in the police drug operations during the review conducted by the DOJ-led inter-agency panel.

“Any and all possible administrative/criminal liability against those involved in these anti-illegal drug operations where deaths occurred may be pursued depending on any further findings/recommendations,” Sugay also assured.

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