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Philippines’ President-elect to bring back death penalty

Rodrigo Duterte

Philippines’ President-Elect Rodrigo Duterte on Monday said he will seek to reinstate the death penalty in the country for “retribution” against criminals.

“I believe in retribution. Why? You should pay. When you kill someone, rape, you should die,” Duterte said during an address in Davao on Monday, three days before being sworn in as the President.

The president-elect, who promised during his election campaign to end crime in the Philippines in less than six months, also vowed to be extremely tough with criminals, according to local broadcaster ABS-CBN.

Duterte rejected reports by human rights organisations that say the death penalty does not reduce crime rates.

“They say ‘It will not deter.’ It did not prevent, obstruct or deter persons from committing crimes. Correct. Why? Because it was not implemented,” he said.

The President-elect has often defended the reintroduction of the death penalty — abolished in 2006 by former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo — to reduce crime rates.

Duterte, who has given security forces a “shoot-to-kill” order against members of organised crime syndicates who resist arrest, also wants to impose death by hanging, not only for people who commit murder but also for crimes related to illegal drugs, rapes and car thefts in which the owner is killed.

Meanwhile, police said recently the number of smugglers killed since May 9, when Duterte was elected the country’s President, has increased 200 per cent.

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