Commentary: Is Death Penalty the Solution to Corruption in the Philippines?

Image by Mehdi Hasan Khan (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Picture this:  A politician helps some chosen people and companies enjoy tax breaks, special promotions, or even obtain land.  He also uses his power to interfere with project contracts, thereby ensuring that he gets to pick who will work on a particular project – and he gets a major cut right off the project budget.  He also lives an extravagant lifestyle, complete with expensive jewelry, palatial home/s, and fancy cars.

Sounds familiar?   The description above could easily fit any of our senators and congressmen, even some of the presidents we had.  But did you know that these descriptions also fit the former vice-mayor of Hangzhou, Xu Maiyong, recently executed in China?  Yes.  They execute corrupt officials in China.  Why can’t we do the same?  Shouldn’t there be death penalty for corrupt officials in the Philippine, too?

Dirty Politics, Rich Politicians

Our politicians are always spouting nonsense about how they are in the service because of their genuine desire to help the poor and disadvantaged, and how they want to serve the people.  Yeah, right.  Sorry, but no one believes them anymore.  It is more of helping themselves to the money allocated to them, which was supposed to be for the poor and oppressed.

No wonder that elections can be so deadly in our country.  Many politicians run for office because there is a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, and sometimes resort to vote buying (with the people’s money) and violence in the process to ensure electoral victory.  The end result?   Funds that are supposed to be for the poor are pocketed by those shameless politicians.

Death Penalty for Corrupt Officials

Our country bills itself as the only Christian country in Asia, yet we are also one of the most corrupt!  If only our politicians could follow the exemplary behavior of their Japanese counterparts – stepping down from their position when facing controversy or maybe even performing hara kiri.  Well, if they can’t bring it upon themselves to do either of the two, then it is best for the law to go after them, punishing them for their actions in the form of imprisonment and capital punishment.

Who knows what the Philippines might be if politicians can be executed for their crimes?  It may sound extreme, but  our country’s elected officials would surely think twice before squandering public funds or funneling them to their own bank accounts.  It would be more difficult for them to live a life of luxury from money that is not rightfully theirs.  After all, who isn’t afraid of being hanged to death? or to face a public execution by musketry to set an example, just like what former president Marcos did with drug lord Lim Seng in the 1970’s?

With the death penalty as a deterrent, these dirty politicians may not even run for office anymore.  Those who do would think twice about their actions.

Spoilsports and Sourpusses

Of course, even if ordinary citizens like us feel that death penalty could be the ultimate solution to corruption in the Philippines, a few sourpusses and spoilsports will always be there to burst our happy bubble.

Death penalty can be viewed as a violation of a person’s human rights, with many thinking that as a Christian country, these sinners must always be given a chance to repent for who are we to judge them?

Also remember that for something like this to become a law, it must be made by the same lawmakers – who had already  established themselves as corrupt and deserving the death sentence in the first place.  If they put that into law, it would be like creating a noose and placing that around their rich, corrupt necks.  Of course, they would do everything in their power for that to never become a law.

Death penalty could be the ultimate solution to corruption in the Philippines; however, it is  but a dream.  Of course, in the Philippines, the rich, powerful, and corrupt still prevail over justice.   It is perhaps a too good a solution to become a reality.  With our corrupt politicians running about like kings and queens of the world, it seems like we’re stuck with these rich, money-hungry pigs for the rest of our lives.