No death penalty in the Philippines


A YouTube video has falsely claimed that the death penalty is set to be imposed on Police Master Sergeant Jonel Nuezca who has been charged with murdering last month two neighbors in Paniqui, Tarlac.


There is no death penalty in the Philippines. Capital punishment was abolished under the 1987 Constitution, reimposed in 1993 through Republic Act 7659 but abolished again in 2006 through Republic Act 9346.


Days after Nuezca was charged with two counts of murder for the deaths of Sonya Gregorio and her son Frank on Dec. 21, YouTube channel Manuel TV Series, run by Manuelito J. Malabug, uploaded the Dec. 27 video with the title:

DEATH PENALTY ikinakasa para kay JONEL NUEZCA🙏👊 (Death penalty being prepared for Jonel Nuezca)

His Facebook post about the video the following day also wrongly implied that Nuezca had been sentenced to death.


The first 30 seconds of Malabug’s 7-minute-41-second video was actually a clip from President Rodrigo Duterte’s Fifth State of the Nation Address last July 27, in which he called for the reinstatement of the death penalty for drug-related crimes:

I reiterate the swift passage of a law reviving the death penalty by lethal injection for crimes specified under the Comprehensive Dangerous [Drugs] Act of 2002. I did not hear so much clapping so I presume that [applause] they are not interested.

Duterte in his televised remarks on Dec. 21 had urged the Philippine National Police to make sure that Nuezca will not be allowed to post bail, but did not mention the death penalty for the killer cop.

The video then cut to a spliced video of Sen. Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa during the Senate hearing last Aug. 19 overlaid with an audio from the senator’s interview with DZRH News on Dec. 23.


Asked if Nuezca would receive a death sentence, Dela Rosa replied that the policeman should if the country had capital punishment:

Eh kung may death penalty tayo diyan eh, dapat death penalty na ‘yang tao na ‘yan, nabitay na ‘yan (If we had death penalty, that person should have received death penalty, he should have been hanged).

Dela Rosa said the Senate has yet to schedule a hearing on his bill seeking to reimpose the death penalty.


Dela Rosa’s first bill, Senate Bill 226, seeks to amend Republic Act 9346, which outlawed the death penalty in 2006, to mete out the death sentence to high-profile drug offenders.

Following Duterte’s fifth SONA, the House panel conducted on Aug. 5 a hearing on bills pushing for the reimposition of the capital punishment.


As of writing, the YouTube video has garnered 9,419 views and 121 likes. Malabug has shared the video in pro-Duterte Facebook groups such as DU30 DIEHARD SUPPORTER FLM SOLID GROUP and RAFFYTULFO IN ACTION SOLID SUPPORTERS DUTERTE where it also gained traction.


Malabug’s 2-year-old YouTube channel has 747 subscribers and his video contents are mostly about Duterte. (BP)


References


Buan, L. (2020, December 21). Cop in Tarlac shooting charged with 2 counts of murder. Rappler. Retrieved from https://www.rappler.com/nation/cop-jonel-nuezca-charged-with-two-counts-murder-no-bail-shooting-mother-son-paniqui-tarlac


Cepeda, M. (2020, August 2). House to revive death penalty hearings this week. Rappler. Retrieved from https://www.rappler.com/nation/house-revive-death-penalty-hearings-august-2020


Colcol, E. (2020, December 27). Death penalty revival bid has 50-50 Senate approval chance, says Zubiri. GMA News. Retrieved from https://www.gmanetwork.com/news/news/nation/769515/death-penalty-revival-bid-has-50-50-senate-approval-chance-says-zubiri/story/


Domingo, K. (2020, December 21). Cop behind Tarlac killings has 2 other homicide, grave misconduct cases. ABS-CBN News. Retrieved from https://news.abs-cbn.com/news/12/21/20/cop-behind-tarlac-double-murder-has-2-other-homicide-grave-misconduct-cases


DZRH News. (2020, December 23). Damdaming Bayan With Deo Macalma [Video]. Facebook. Retrieved from https://www.facebook.com/dzrhnews/videos/1593833464121410


Galvez, D. (2020, August 5). After Duterte push, House tackles death penalty bills amid pandemic. Inquirer.net. Retrieved from https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1316941/after-duterte-push-house-tackles-death-penalty-bills-amid-pandemic


Malabug, M. (2020, December 28). BREAKING NEWS: PAnuodin po natin. DEATH PENALTY hatol para kay JONEL NUEZCA🙏👊 [Shared post]. Facebook. Retrieved from https://www.facebook.com/groups/448478949417112/permalink/758543441743993


Malabug, M. (2020, December 28). BREAKING NEWS: PAnuodin po natin. DEATH PENALTY hatol para kay JONEL NUEZCA🙏👊 [Shared post]. Facebook. Retrieved from https://www.facebook.com/groups/1220232641695386/permalink/1271676146551035/


Manuel TV Series. (2020, December 27). DEATH PENALTY ikinakasa para kay JONEL NUEZCA🙏👊 [Video]. YouTube. Retrieved from https://www.YouTube.com/watch?v=a_dYrzIbZ5s


Marquez, C. (2020, December 21). Cop in mother, son killing indicted for two counts of murder. Inquirer.net. Retrieved from https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1374385/cop-in-mother-son-killing-indicted-for-two-counts-of-murder


Patag, K. J. (2020, August 5). DOJ sees no impediments to return of death penalty, wary of letting kids watch executions. Philstar. Retrieved from https://www.philstar.com/headlines/2020/08/05/2033112/doj-sees-no-impediments-return-death-penalty-wary-letting-kids-watch-executions


Presidential Communications Operations Office. (2020, December 21). Talk to the People of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte on Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) [Video]. Retrieved from https://pcoo.gov.ph/presidential-speech/talk-to-the-people-of-president-rodrigo-roa-duterte-on-coronavirus-disease-2019-covid-19-37/ (Watch from 7:15-7:25)


PTV. (2020, July 27). WATCH: President Rodrigo #Duterte's 5th State of the Nation Address #DuterteSONA2020 #WeRiseAsOne [Video]. YouTube. Retrieved from https://youtu.be/fHb0dSvexU4?t=8989 (Watch from 2:29:49 – 2:30:19)


Republic Act No. 7659. An Act to Impose the Death Penalty on Certain Heinous Crimes 1993. Retrieved from https://www.officialgazette.gov.ph/1993/12/13/republic-act-no-7659/


Republic Act No. 9346. An Act Prohibiting the Imposition of Death Penalty in the Philippines 2006. Retrieved from https://www.officialgazette.gov.ph/2006/06/24/republic-act-no-9346/


Senate of the Philippines. (2019, July 4). An Act to Impose the Death Penalty on Certain Crimes Punishable under Republic Act No. 9165 [PDF]. Retrieved from http://legacy.senate.gov.ph/lisdata/3048527362!.pdf


Senate of the Philippines. (2020, August 19). Committee on Public Order and Dangerous Drugs (August 19, 2020) [Video]. YouTube. Retrieved from https://www.YouTube.com/watch?v=_XEPWgtrypM

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