Death penalty for 50g of seized illegal drugs? Sotto says, ‘Hindi naman puwede ‘yun’

By DONA MAGSINO, GMA News

Senate President Vicente Sotto III on Wednesday said death penalty cannot be meted out against drug suspects found in possession of 50 grams of illegal drugs.

“Hindi naman pwede ‘yun. The present law says 200 grams non-bailable, paanong naging 50 grams lang e death penalty? If they insist, then forget the bill,” Sotto said on Twitter.

“Fifty grams is easy to plant! My bill says ‘high level drug trafficking only,’ if you want it to stand a chance!” he added.

However, Article II Section 11 of the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 states that the “penalty of life imprisonment to death and a fine ranging from P500,000 to P10,000,000 shall be imposed upon any person” who shall possess the following:

  •     10 grams or more of opium;
  •     10 grams or more of morphine;
  •     10 grams or more of heroin;
  •     10 grams or more of cocaine or cocaine hydrochloride;
  •     50 grams or more of methamphetamine hydrochloride or “shabu”;
  •     10 grams or more of marijuana resin or marijuana resin oil;
  •     500 grams or more of marijuana; and
  •     10 grams or more of other dangerous drugs

Earlier in the day, Philippine National Police chief Police General Archie Francisco Gamboa said death penalty could be imposed if more than 50 grams of illegal drugs are seized from drug suspects.

Nevertheless, Gamboa said he leaves it up to lawmakers to determine the degree of reinstating the death penalty against drug offenders.

The buzz on reinstating death penalty started again after President Rodrigo Duterte urged Congress to impose such to drug offenders.

Sotto has earlier said he would support death penalty only for high-level drug convicts.

On the other hand, Senator Richard Gordon, chair of the Senate committee on justice, is quite reluctant to hold hearings on the pending death penalty bills.—AOL, GMA News

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