Congressmen were given a chance to explain their votes before the plenary. Among them was Muntinlupa City Representative Ruffy Biazon, who voted in favor of House Bill 4727.
Here is the full text of Biazon's speech as provided by his office.
During my campaign for my first term in Congress in 2001, I made it clear to the electorate that my agenda included an anti-illegal drugs advocacy and that I believed that government must take a strong and firm stand against this menace to society. The people of Muntinlupa City granted me the privilege to represent them for the first time in the 12th Congress.
It was in that Congress that I was one of the authors of the Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002, a comprehensive piece of legislation which laid down the blueprint of how government was to wage its fight against illegal drugs and prescribed death as a penalty for certain violations. In the passage of that law, the authors in the House of Representatives presented House Bill 4433 and the members of the House approved the same, subsequently passed by the Senate and signed into law by the President on June 7, 2002. While its Constitutionality was questioned at the Supreme Court, the highest court of the land upheld the law and it continued to be in effect, although a moratorium on executions was ordered by the executive.
In 2004, I was elected once more by the people of Muntinlupa to represent them in the 13th Congress. On June 24, 2006, Republic Act 9346 was passed by the Legislature, prohibiting the imposition of capital punishment in the Philippines. I voted against the measure, maintaining my position that drug trafficking deserved the ultimate penalty available under the Constitution of the Republic.
For a 3rd time, I was again given the privilege to represent the Lone District of Muntinlupa City in the 14th Congress. During that period, there were several incidents that highlighted the country’s drug problem such as the Subic Bay Drug Haul, which was touted as the largest shabu seizure at that time (May-June of 2008), the raid of the Naguilian, La Union Drug Laboratory (July 9, 2008), the discovery of the Sta. Cruz, Laguna Drug Lab (October 30, 2007), and the infamous Alabang Boys Drugs Case which this House even investigated, with the PDEA alleging that the accused offered a P 50 Million bribe to the prosecution.
On July 19, 2009, I was informed by reliable sources that a daughter of a high profile anti-narcotics officer was kidnapped. It was believed that the kidnapping was a retaliation against the effective operation led by the anti-narcotics officer. The following day, the story became headline news with additional information that the daughter was allegedly not only kidnapped but was also drugged and raped.
That story moved me, particularly because the narcotics officer was personally known to me. In my blog, I wrote:
“This crime is so heinous, so sinister and diabolical that it takes a particularly evil mind to conceive and do it. It is obviously a pre-meditated act, meant to hit back at the person who has been effective in foiling the proliferation of the illegal drug trade. It was meant to hurt the agent, in that instead of merely killing the victim, they let the child live through a harrowing experience and did things to her that only a sick mind will consciously think of doing.”
Believing that we had not shown our firm resolve to punish those in the business of sowing misery in the lives of Filipinos particularly the young, I filed House Bill Number 5714 proposing to reimpose the death penalty for drug trafficking. Even the Speaker of the House at that time stated his inclination to support the bill, although it was not in the priority of the administration at that time. Understandably, because it was that same administration which repealed capital punishment just 3 years earlier.
Now I return to the House of Representatives in the 17th Congress, given another opportunity by my constituents to represent them. My view about illegal drugs remain the same – it is a menace to society, it brings about moral decay, it fuels crime and brings misery in the life of anyone and everyone who gets entangled in its web.
With the recent revelations about drug operations inside the New Bilibid Prison, I am not surprised that the current administration, with its stance against illegal drugs, and the population in general, are taking an alarmed look at the extent of the drug problem. But let me say that these revelations are not new to this representation, whose district plays host to the New Bilibid Prison. As far back as my first term in 2001, there had already been rumors going around about the illicit trade going on inside the secure prison walls. That is one of the reasons why I have consistently taken this stance over these years.
The Constitution allows capital punishment for compelling reasons involving heinous crimes. The continued proliferation of the illegal drug trade with its devastating effects is a compelling reason. And the resulting crimes are heinous.
Under the authority of the People of Muntinlupa City for me to be in this Chamber, I vote yes, Mr Speaker. – Rappler.com