Bato Forgets About a "Second Chance," Pushes for Death Penalty

The senator sure has a lot of emotions.

(SPOT.ph) People seemed to wait with bated breath when student leader Raoul Manuel did the unthinkable: he confronted an "adult." At a senate hearing on the proposed ROTC bill on August 22, Manuel point blank said "We have a senator that will say na okay lang na makalaya and may second chance yung isang rapist na mayor, habang yung mahihirap ay madaling tokhang-in na lamang." In case you need context, neophyte Senator Bato Dela Rosa was earlier quoted as saying that convicted rapist and murdered Antonio Sanchez "deserves a second chance in life," commenting on the criminal's pending early release thanks to suppposed "good conduct."

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The senator, who was seated a few chairs away from Manuel, erupted. Dela Rosa said the student's comment wasn't relevant to the topic at hand, a sentiment echoed by Senators Pia Cayetano and Win Gatchalian. Dela Rosa, far from his previous "second chance" remark, then said "Did you know na ako mismo, gusto ko bitayin 'yang Sanchez na 'yan? I am for death penalty. Kung may death penalty noon, dapat nabitay na 'yang Sanchez na 'yan."

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Dela Rosa originally defended the supposed decision to release the convicted Antonio Sanchez based on his eligibility under Republic Act 10592. "[If ] it is determined by the Board of Pardons and Parole that he deserves that commutation, then why not?" he said, as quoted in a report by the Philippine Daily Inquirer. He added: "According to corrections officers, nagbait na daw. In fact, nakikita nila na nagpapalda na nga daw. So changed man na talaga siya."

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Speaking of second chances, Dela Rosa has been a staunch supporter of capital punishment since being voted into office. In July, he filed a bill to reinstate the death penalty for those in the illegal drug trade. Dela Rosa also headed the current administration's "war on drugs" as the Philippine National Police Chief from 2016 to 2018. Just a few months into his leadership, he was quoted as saying, "I am also begging your indulgence to please understand if the killings will continue," in a report by the Manila Bulletin

Main image by /Presidential Communications Operations Office - Wikimedia.

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