Philippine Senator Calls for Death Penalty Review after Rape Increase
Rapes in the Philippines in the first nine months of 2000 rose almost six percent over the same period last year to 2,450 cases, a senator said Saturday.
This is an indication that the recently restored death penalty had proved ineffective in curbing the crime, Senator Loren Legarda-Leviste, a woman's advocate, said in a statement.
Legarda-Leviste said that rape cases had hit 2,450 this year compared to 2,319 last year, citing national police statistics.
In the light of the new figures, she urged other legislators to review the death penalty law.
They must "find out why the death penalty has apparently failed to deter rapists," she said.
The death penalty was reinstated in the Philippines in 1994 for "heinous" crimes such as aggravated murder or rape and drug dealing, following a popular outcry over a spate of bloody crimes.
Six people, most of them rapists, were put to death last year, before President Joseph Estrada ordered a temporary suspension of all judicial executions following strong lobbying by the dominant Catholic Church.
More than 1,200 criminals are still on death row in Philippine -- MANILA (AFP)
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