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Tolentino seeks death penalty vs drug offenders

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By JOHN CARLO M. CAHINHINAN

SURIGAO CITY – Administration senatorial bet Francis Tolentino has renewed his call for the revival of death penalty following the recent discovery of P257.4-million worth of cocaine bricks along the waters off Burgos town in Siargao Island.

Local fishermen recently found some 40 bricks of cocaine bricks floating the the shoreline of Municipality of Burgos in Siargao Island, Surigao del Norte.

According to Tolentino, international drug syndicates and their traffickers are exploiting the country’s justice system since they knew that capital punishment has been scrapped by Congress almost 15 years ago.

“Dumadami eh… yun na nga, ibalik na dapat ang death penalty. Yun ang makaka-sugpo niyan eh,” he said.

Earlier, House committee on dangerous drugs chair and Surigao del Norte second district Rep. Robert Ace Barbers expressed his worries that members of the international drug syndicates are using Siargao as a transshipment point of cocaine in the country.

Barbers explained that leaders of the drug rings might be using Siargao as a repacking point or pit stop for wholesale distribution.

He added that as a rising tourist spot in the country, Siargao Island is prone to be conquered by members of a large-scale drug ring amid influx of tourists.

For his part, Tolentino said he is worried due to several reported “high-value entry” of illegal drug shipment within the Philippine waters especially along the eastern sea board, adding that authorities especially the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) and the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) should increase their vigilance.

The former mayor of Tagaytay City earlier stressed that the re-imposition of death penalty in the country will have a “chilling effect” for those engaging in the illegal drug trade just like what the Marcos regime did when it executed convicted Chinese drug lord Lim Seng.

The military tribunal in 1973 has sentenced Lim Seng to suffer the death penalty by firing squad inside Fort Bonifacio.

According to Tolentino, the operations of various drug syndicates during the 1970’s were paralyzed following the execution of Lim.

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