Phillipine president wants the death penalty for drug crimes

Amy Langley, Chief International Officer

1 Aug 2020

President Rodrigo Duterte threatened to re-impose the death penalty for crimes involving illegal drugs in the Phillipines. Concerns of increased crime and drug offences during the Covid-19 pandemic were cited by Duterte in his annual address to the nation, where the Phillipine leader claimed that “bodies will pile up” for those turning to illegal actions in light of the unrest.

In keeping with his platform of a hard-line approach to crime, Duterte threatened would-be criminals that ““you know what will happen to you” if “you return to the old ways, there will be piles of bodies again and I will surely hunt you down.”

Since taking office in 2016, the President has continued a strict anti-drug policy. His address focused heavily on cracking down on crime, reviving the death penalty and the strong steps to be taken in his unfaltering war on drugs. He warned drug dealers “"I will really kill you, that is a commitment”.

Duterte has proposed legislation that would allow for the death penalty to be re-instated. Under the law – if it is approved – legal injection will be a legitimate sentence for those found guilty of serious drug crimes.

Read more about Duterte’s speech in this article by the Diplomat: