PNP CHIEF Gen. Archie Gamboa on Wednesday proposed the death penalty for persons caught selling or in possession at least 50 grams of shabu, the most commonly used illegal drugs in the country, weighing 50 grams or more.
Gamboa’s proposal is harsher than the proposal of Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency chief Wilkins Villanueva, who wants the capital punishment for those selling at least a kilo of shabu.
The Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 punishes possession of 50 grams or more of shabu with life imprisonment to death and a fine ranging from P500,00 to P10 million.
The death penalty was abolished in the 1987 Constitution but was reimposed in 1993 by the Ramos administration. It was again abolished in 2006 by the Arroyo administration.
President Duterte, on Monday during his state of the nation address, renewed his call for the revival of the death penalty for drug offenders.
Gamboa said the death penalty should be imposed on “high-value targets.”
“When I say high-value targets, it should be 50 grams and up because the users go by the sachet,” he said.
Gamboa said confiscating 50 grams or more of shabu “would entail a lot of work and a lot of surveillance and effort.” He said lawmen cannot just pick up someone and confiscate 50 grams of shabu or more.
Gamboa said the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 actually imposes “a very hard penalty” for possession of 50 grams of shabu.
“So if you are going to ask me, it should play around those numbers,” he said.
Gamboa also said foreigner find it convenient to conduct their illegal drugs trade in the country because of the absence of death penalty.
“This is a revelation coming from the different people who were actually apprehended that they find in a way convenient, they do it here in the Philippines because there is no death penalty here,” he said.
“That’s why the re-imposition of death penalty will definitely be a deterrent to this (operation of foreign drug traffickers in the Philippines), in our campaign against illegal drugs,” Gamboa also said.
Told that death penalty has not deterred the proliferation of illegal drugs in other countries and the United Nations adopted in 2018 a resolution for a worldwide moratorium on death penalty, Gamboa said it’s up to the legislators to decide.
“But on the side of the Philippine National Police, we believe that it is a direct deterrent… The Philippine National Police strongly believes really, death penalty would be a big boost on the part of the government’s campaign against illegal drugs,” said Gamboa.
A physician from the Far Eastern University Hospital and five cohorts were arrested by Quezon City policemen in a buy-bust operation in Makati City on Tuesday.
Arrested were Dr. Ryan Chris Mangente, Mhark Anthony Collado, Romeo Tengco, Aries Argallon, Crisanto Escol, Judy Lasanaria, all from Makati City; and Mark Anthony Alcazar, of Mandaluyong City.
Policemen arranged to buy shabu from the suspects after receiving reports about the drug peddling activities of the suspects.
They were nabbed at around 10:35 p.m. at the Guadalupe Mansion in Barangay Cembo Makati City as soon as they handed to a poseur-buyer two grams of shabu, worth P13,600.
Also seized from their possession were three cell phones and drug paraphernalia.
In Pasig City yesterday, three persons were arrested in a buy-bust operation. Seized from them was ₱170,000 worth of suspected shabu.
Col. Moises Villaceran, local police chief, identified the three as Ericson Ramos, 41; Gilbert Samson, 46; and Anjannet Honrada, 36, residents of Barangay Bambang. Recovered from them were 25 grams of suspected shabu.
They were nabbed at around 2 a.m. in their neighbourhood.-With Christian Oineza