Death wish

No, he doesn’t want to die; he just wants others put to death.

Boxer Manny Pacquiao, whose fists made him a part-time, occasional senator of this unfortunate Republic, says he’s going to rush the restoration of the death penalty through a bill in the Senate by the end of the year.

He’s been campaigning for it both in support of his own views as well as his patron President Rodrigo Duterte’s preference for it as a supposed deterrent to crime. Mr. Duterte is on record as saying that the method of execution he favors is hanging, because he wants it to be as painful and as inhumane as possible on the mindless assumption that it will frighten murderers, rapists, kidnappers, drug traffickers and other savages into abandoning their lives of crime.

Pacquiao says he’ll hold hearings on the proposed bill restoring capital punishment to determine whether the public wants it revived, 12 years after it was abolished in 2006 during the Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo presidency.

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Deterring crime

Detail from Pisanello's Saint George and the Princess

President-elect Rodrigo Duterte’s reiteration of a campaign promise to have Congress restore the death penalty resonates among most Filipinos who’re justly concerned with, and are in fact terrified by, the crimes that almost daily threaten their homes, their property and their lives and those of their kin. The number of rapes has nearly doubled, say women’s groups, and murders, kidnappings, assaults, and robberies have been multiplying, even as the drug trade destroys entire families. Outrage over these crimes’ persistence and their going unpunished is not limited to the survivors and kin of the victims. The demand for retribution cuts across classes but is especially strong among the students, professionals, office employees, and graveyard shift workers who feel they’re most vulnerable, and who are the most common crime victims.

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