Senator Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa said in his privilege speech that drug problem is also a “global pandemic,” adding that he can multitask and deliberate on measures seeking the return of death penalty amid the COVID-19 crisis. Dela Rosa’s speech came after President Rodrigo Duterte urged the passage of a death penalty bill in his fifth SONA.

“Totoo. Tayo ay may kinakaharap ngayon na pandemic na COVID-19 but itong aking issue na nire-raise ngayon, this is also considered as a global pandemic, itong drug problem,” said dela Rosa, who enforced Duterte’s brutal drug war when he served as the chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP).

Meanwhile, opposition Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan questioned the timing of the discussions on the revival of death penalty, citing that millions of Filipinos are losing their jobs or going hungry amid COVID-19. Pangilinan asked the neophyte senator how death penalty could help people cope with the crisis.

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