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Will the Philippines reinstate the death penalty?

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By Catherine Hardy  with Reuters
Will the Philippines reinstate the death penalty?

President-elect Rodrigo Duterte who says he plans to bring back the death penalty in the Philippines.

“What I would do is urge Congress to restore the death penalty by hanging,” Duterte told reporters.

Officials say the rise in crime figures is due to improved reporting.

But this has not deterred Duterte, who is promising a hardline approach.

“If you resist arrest, if you offer violent resistance, my order to the police is to shoot to kill.”

What has been the response?

Human rights campaigners say Duterte’s hard-line approach will not work.

Cristina Palabay is from the human rights group, Karapatan.

“It is also an issue about poverty, gross inequality of access to education and the lack of a rehabilitative framework in the country’s existing justice and penal system.”

“The death penalty formula cannot resolve the problems of an unjust system.”

Human rights campaigners say they will investigate any reports of extra-judicial killings.

Known as “the punisher”, Duterte’s incendiary rhetoric and advocacy of a “shoot to kill” policy for the authorities are causing alarm.

Some fear a return to the southeast Asian country’s authoritarian past.