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Belgica to push for death penalty if elected

RIGHT FROM THE GRECO Former Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission chief Greco Belgica (right) speaks to Kim Lokin during The Manila Times TV program ‘Diretsong Pananaw,’ aired on YouTube on Friday, Mar. 11, 2022. SCREENGRAB FROM TMT TV

SENATE candidate Greco Antonious Belgica will push for the reimposition of the death penalty for all heinous crimes, including corruption, if he wins a Senate seat in the May national elections.

Guesting at The Manila Times TV talk show “Diretsong Pananaw,” Belgica said he would bring a stronger anti-corruption campaign in the Senate and make sure all those being investigated will be imprisoned and held accountable.

“Babalik ko po ang parusang kamatayan sa karumaldumal na krimen at corruption para po talagang matakot ang mga tao (I will push for the reimposition of the death penalty for the heinous crimes and corruption as it will deter people from committing crimes),” Belgica said.

The former Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) chief said there was a need to change the law since existing measures restrict what authorities can do to hold people involved in illegal drugs and corruption accountable.

He said the process of prosecution is not within the power of the PACC but that it can be “cured” by law.

If he gets elected, Belgica said he wants to legislate laws that will establish a government structure that will address corruption from the national to the local level.

He said this would require additional personnel in the judiciary, infrastructure for courts, and the establishment of an anti-corruption police force.

“If we will put up structures and strengthen the justice system, mas lalakas po ang anti-corruption campaign dahil mas matatakot ang mga tao na paparusahan (our anti-corruption campaign will be stronger because those who will be punished will be more afraid),” Belgica said.

Citing Ombudsman data, Belgica said that at least 20 percent of the national budget is lost due to corruption.

He said higher government revenues and better systems were achieved because of the Duterte administration’s fight against corruption.

“So, lalabanan po natin (So, we will fight it) so that the government services can be delivered to the people and businesses can grow and we can all, as a country, rise up from this pandemic,” he added.

During his stint as chairman and commissioner at the PACC, more than 300 high-ranking government officials were slapped with cases before the Office of the Ombudsman due to their supposed involvement in corrupt activities, while 24 government officials have been put to jail.

The PACC has created the National Anti-Corruption Coordination Council, which will handle PACC linkages with all the departments and agencies of the executive branch.

The aim is to engage all agencies in the executive department to join the fight against corruption by self-cleansing or policing their own ranks, starting from critical high risk or corruption exposed agencies.

Belgica, 43, is running under the Pederalismo ng Dugong Dakilang Samahan, which is allied with President Duterte’s Partido Demokratiko Pilipino–Lakas ng Bayan party. He ranked 36 to 48 in the January Pulse Asia survey of senatorial preferences.