Numerous Philippine parks, monuments, learning institutions, roads, local government units are named after Jose Rizal and other martyrs executed by the Spanish as a constant reminder of Spanish atrocities through the imposition of the death penalty.After the execution of Imperial Japanese Army General Tomuyuki Yamashita in Laguna, Philippines in 1946 and the formal establishment of the Philippine post-World War II government, capital punishment was mainly used as an anti-crime measure during the rampant lawlessness that dominated the Philippines leading to the declaration of Martial Law in 1972.
The capital crimes after regaining full sovereignty in July 1946 were murder, rape and treason. However, no executions took place until April 1950, when Julio Gullien was executed for attempting to assassinate President Manuel Roxas. Other notable cases includes Marciál \"Baby\" Ama, electrocuted at the age of 16 on October 4, 1961, for murders committed while in prison for lesser charges. Ama notably became the subject of the popular 1976 film, Bitayin si... Baby Ama! (Execute Baby Ama!).
After Marcos was deposed in 1986, the newly drafted 1987 Constitution prohibited the death penalty but allowed the Congress to reinstate it \"hereafter\" for \"heinous crimes\"; making the Philippines the first Asian country to abolish capital punishment.
President Fidel V. Ramos promised during his campaign that he would support the re-introduction of the death penalty in response to increasing crime rates. The new law (Republic Act 7659), drafted by Ramos, was passed in 1993, restoring capital punishment on December 31, 1993. This law provided the use of the electric chair until the gas chamber (chosen by the government to replace electrocution) could be used. In 1996, Republic Act 8177 was passed, prescribing the use of lethal injection as the method of carrying out capital punishment.
Estrada's successor, Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, was a vocal opponent of the death penalty and also approved a moratorium on the carrying out of capital punishment. This prohibition was later formalized into a full law when the Congress passed Republic Act 9346 in 2006. The next year, the Philippines became a party to the Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights regarding the abolition of the death penalty. President Arroyo controversially pardoned many prisoners during her presidency, including a 2009 pardon for all remaining felons convicted for the 1983 assassination of former Senator and opposition leader Benigno Aquino Jr.
After child rapist Peter Scully was arrested in February 2015, several Filipino prosecutors called for the death penalty to be reintroduced for violent sexual crimes. During the 2016 election campaign, presidential candidate and frontrunner Davao City mayor Rodrigo Duterte campaigned to restore the death penalty in the Philippines. During the \"Yes or No\" segment of the second presidential debate on March 20, 2016, Duterte and Senator Grace Poe were the only candidates who said \"Yes\" when asked about the restoration of the death penalty in the country, favoring the decision. Duterte, who won the election in May 2016, supports restoration of the death penalty by hanging. It has been reported that he wants capital punishment for criminals involved in illegal drugs, gun-for-hire syndicates and those who commit \"heinous crimes\" such as rape, robbery or car theft where the victim is murdered, while Poe has stated that the capital punishment should apply to criminals convicted of \"drugs and multiple crimes where involved people can no longer be rehabilitated.\"
Duterte has theatrically vowed \"to litter Manila Bay with the bodies of criminals.\" In December 2016, the bill to resume capital punishment for certain \"heinous offenses\" swiftly passed in the committee level in the House of Representatives; it passed the full House of Representatives in February 2017. However, the law reinstating the death penalty stalled in the Senate in April 2017, where it did not appear to have enough votes to pass.
In a 2017 poll, 67% of Filipinos supported the death penalty. Actress and rape victim Maggie dela Riva, one of the supporters of the capital punishment, expressed dismay in an interview with TV Patrol that year that only drug-related crimes were included in crimes subject to death penalty, and that heinous crimes such as rape were not included.
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