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PIA Press Release
2007/04/26

Anti-terror law enough to address killings - Ermita

Manila (26 April) -- Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita said today the existing anti-terrorism law is enough to address the series of killings and election-related violence in the country.

In his regular press briefing in Malacanang this afternoon, Ermita dismissed the proposal of some quarters for President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to revive the death penalty law following the escalation of unexplained killings and political violence.

"I don't think those are enough factors for the President to have second thoughts about abolishing the death penalty especially now that we have the anti-terrorism law. It will be very very helpful in addressing if ever the rise in criminality," he said.

Ermita made the pronouncements in the wake of reports on the series of killings and the allegation that the Philippines is now the transit point of illegal drugs.

"The anti-terror law has enough teeth to face all criminal offenders," he pointed out.

"Whether the country has death penalty, whether it has life sentence or stiff penalties, those are the things that will depend on what the law books say," he explained.

"So let's leave it at that. Kahit ano namang penalty, meron pa ring book provision sa Constitution that the President has the absolute power to consider giving executive clemency. So in the end, kahit may death penalty, it can be commuted," he added. (PIA) [top]

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