By John Victor D. Ordoñez, Reporter

A PHILIPPINE congressman said on Monday that lawmakers should consider reimposing the death penalty for individuals convicted of serious drug-related crimes, citing how China recently executed two Filipinos for drug smuggling.

“China was firm in executing Filipinos, yet we are being flooded with tons and tons of illegal drugs, especially shabu (crystal methamphetamine) from China,” Surigao del Norte Rep. Robert Ace S. Barbers, who heads the House Committee on Dangerous Drugs.

Earlier, Mr. Barbers filed House Bill No. 1543 seeking to impose the death penalty on heinous crimes, especially drug-related offenses. It is now pending before the House Justice Committee.

He said the death penalty may deter the continuous inflow of illegal drugs from China.

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Saturday announced that the two Filipinos were executed on Nov. 24 for drug trafficking offenses in China, citing confirmation by the Philippine Consulate General in Guangzhou.

They had been arrested in 2013 and had tried to appeal their drug trafficking convictions several times in 2016.

“The Government of the Republic of the Philippines further exhausted all measures available to appeal to the relevant authorities of the People’s Republic of China to commute their sentences to life imprisonment on humanitarian grounds,” the DFA said.

The DFA noted that there are 92 death penalty cases in China involving Filipinos, with only one being drug-related.

“It is a wonder that while China was very hard on drug trafficking, the drugs that come to our shores originate from its ports,” Mr. Barbers said. “Yet, we have yet to see one Chinese convict being executed to deter others from committing such heinous a crime.”