A 41-year-old man and his 17-year-old stepson on Sunday owned up to the grizzly killing of two minors whose battered and bruised bodies were found in a grassland in San Jose del Monte City, Bulacan.
Philippine National Police chief General Guillermo Eleazar said the suspects also admitted during questioning that they both raped before killing the 11-year-old girl.
The other victim in this crime crying out to high heaven for justice is an eight-year-old boy.
Here is one case that General Eleazar must ensure will not turn out to be local policemen rounding up the usual or most convenient suspects, the father and son being the victims’ neighbors.
The case buildup, evidence-gathering and forensic investigation must be ironclad to ensure that not only is justice served, but that it is meted out on the real perpetrators.
A confession, such as the ones given by the suspects, can always be retracted and claimed to be made under duress, so the police and government prosecutors must do their respective jobs to ensure the conviction of whoever is or are behind this dastardly act.
The police say that they are still awaiting the result of the routine drug test conducted on the suspects to determine whether they are drug users.
The drug test results, however, may have little bearing on the case because the bodies were found on Tuesday, while the suspects were caught days later over the weekend.
Crimes like the killing of two innocent kids, compounded by the rape of the girl, should prompt lawmakers and the general public to once again start a lively debate on whether or not the death penalty should be restored.
While the Philippine penal system is reformatory, meaning it is anchored on the premise that even hardened criminals may change for the better, it is beyond dispute that there are just some people beyond salvation.
These are the recidivists, the dregs of society, the seeds of Satan that have only returned to their criminal ways — to dealing drugs, to killing and raping — once out of jail.
In debating the return of the death penalty, the need to protect the general population from evil men and women must be emphasized.
While he did his serial killing of five people in the United States, including famed Italian designer Gianni Versace, Andrew Philip Cunanan comes to mind when citing criminals from whom peaceful people need protecting from. Cunanan escaped the death penalty in the state of California only because he killed himself.
Here in the Philippines, the case will be made against the death penalty on account of the presently prevailing justice system — compounded by some corrupt judges — being flawed.
But what justice system is perfect? In the past, all death sentences passed were thoroughly reviewed by the Supreme Court, thus any reasonable doubt — that may set free a convict or, at the very least, commute a sentence to life in prison — can be brought to light.
If restored, the death penalty should be exclusive to the monsters that lord it over the drug trade and who, because of their greed, destroy lives, families and the very fabric of society.
It should be considered for imposition on agents of the law who have turned their backs on their oath to protect society by, for example, recycling drugs or serving as the armed minions or protectors of drug syndicates.
The gallows should also be reserved for those who, having committed heinous crimes like mass killings and the like, have forfeited their right to life.
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