Skinning, slay of Cebu student prompts calls for restoration of death penalty

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The killing and skinning of a 16-year-old student in Cebu City has prompted fresh calls for the restoration of the death penalty.

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, March 13) — The killing and skinning of a 16-year-old student, identified by police as Christine Silawan, in Lapu-Lapu City has prompted fresh calls for the restoration of the death penalty.

"Ilang [biktima] pa ba ang hihintayin natin upang magising na tayong lahat na kailangan na natin ng parusang kamatayan para sa mga demonyong kriminal na gumagawa ng mga karumal-dumal na krimen," the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption said in a statement.

[Translation: How many more victims do we have to wait for before we wake up to the reality that the death penalty is needed for demon criminals who commit heinous crimes?]

However, opposition senatorial candidate Samira Gutoc said that the roots of criminality should be addressed instead of reimposing death penalty.

"Bakit hindi siya naproteksyunan? [Why wasn't she protected?] Where were the police patrolling at night? That is the issue," Gutoc told CNN Philippines' The Source on Wednesday.

She also cited the constitutional provision which prohibits inhumane and excessive punishment.

President Rodrigo Duterte had long been advocating for the return of capital punishment.

The House had passed a bill restoring death penalty, but this only covers drug-related crimes. Moves to bring back the death penalty have stalled in the Senate, with many of its members not being keen on the proposal.

The 1987 Constitution abolished the death penalty, but gave Congress the option to restore it for heinous crimes. A law was passed during the term of President Fidel V. Ramos bringing back death penalty, but this was abolished again under the administration of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

CNN Philippines Multi-platform Writer Xave Gregorio contributed to this report.