Philippine National Police (PNP) officer-in-charge, Lt. Gen. Vicente Danao, on Thursday said the restoration of the death penalty for big-time drug traffickers or high-value targets is long overdue.

Danao’s statement came after Sen. Ronald dela Rosa re-filed his bill seeking to impose the death penalty on big-time drug traffickers and plunderers.

“We welcome that development. Unang una alam naman natin kung ano talaga yung effects ng iligal na droga sa pangangatawan ng tao. Especially for those who are drug dealers who were caught with so many kilos of illegal drugs, I think it’s high time to really bring back the death penalty lalong lalo na sa aspeto na yan sa iligal na droga (We welcome that development. First of all, we know what exactly are the effects of illegal drugs on the human body. Especially for those who are drug dealers who were caught up with so many acts of illegal drugs, I think it is high time to really bring back death penalty, especially in that aspect of illegal drugs),” Danao said on the sidelines of the Association of Firearms and Ammunition Dealers of the Philippine (AFAD) Defense and Sporting Arms Show in Mandaluyong City.

Dela Rosa earlier said his version of the bill is only limited to high-level drug traffickers so it would not be considered anti-poor while at least three other lawmakers said they would file their own bills on the matter.

Danao also welcomed the plan of Interior Secretary Benjamin Abalos Jr. to defend honest arresting police officers who will be harassed by influential persons involved in illegal activities and to also raise funds to assist police officers who face intimidation from drug personalities through baseless lawsuits.

“We are also grateful for having a Secretary of the Interior who is very supportive of our police force. As a matter of fact, he committed that he would personally provide lawyers for our colleagues in the service,” said Danao.

Danao also assured that the PNP will continue the relentless campaign against anti-illegal drugs under the administration of President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.

Abalos earlier said he is looking at the possibility of assigning permanent employees at the Fiscal’s Offices to act as Department of Justice (DOJ) representatives in drug cases.

He made this comment after noting that many drug cases are dismissed due to the technicality due the lack of witnesses. (PNA)