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Yes or no? Lito Atienza dares lawmaker wannabes to bare stand on death penalty

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Buhay party-list Rep. Lito Atienza is challenging all politikos running for senator and congressional representatives to declare their stand on the proposal to bring back the death penalty.

Atienza on Saturday said voters deserve to know the candidates’ stand on such an important issue.

“It would be unfair – even deceitful – for candidates to court the support of voters who are opposed to the death penalty, only to betray them later on,” he said.

The House of Representatives in 2017 passed a bill bringing the death penalty back for drug-related offenses. The measure, however, is still pending in the Senate.

Atienza, who voted against the death penalty bill, filed a substitute measure imposing the new penalty of “qualified reclusion perpertua” on the worst criminal offenders.

The penalty is equal to imprisonment for 40 years, or until the convict reaches 70 years old, without the benefit of early release.

He said prolonged imprisonment “is just as effective” as death penalty when it comes to discouraging people to commit crimes.

“The death penalty leaves no room for rectification. A dead convict cannot be brought back to life even if somebody else later on confesses to the crime,” Atienza said.