Teddy Locsin Jr. Draws Flak For Tweeting 'Rape Is Not A Heinous Crime'

'It is a crime, an indignity, an outrage—but not a heinous crime.'
by F. Valencia
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The death penalty bill is one of the most heated issues in the country today. Naturally, it will spark a lot of debates. Once again, Philippine ambassador to the United Nations (UN) Teddy Locsin Jr. weighed in on the burning issue via Twitter and ended up causing an even bigger social media fire.

The death penalty bill is already controversial enough, but adding the discussion of rape to it makes it even more so.

Rape removed from death penalty offenses

On Monday, February 20, the House majority decided in a caucus to reduce the number of offenses covered in the death penalty. House majority leader Rep. Rodolfo Fariñas explained that they did this to increase the bill's chances of being passed in the Senate.

In his ABS-CBN News report, RG Cruz quoted Fariñas as saying, "Kami ang posisyon ni (House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez), i-whittle natin sa bare minimum. Tingnan natin kung papasa sa Senate kasi if we include so many offenses and 'di maski isa 'di papasa sa Senate (We agreed with the position of House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez to whittle it down to the bare minimum of offenses. Let's see if it passes in the Senate because if we include so many offenses, it may not get passed in the Senate)."

The report noted: "As such, the proposed death penalty bill now only covers three offense: drug-related crimes, plunder, and treason."

Then again, Fariñas pointed out that they could add other offenses if the Senate passes the bill.

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Teddy Locsin Jr.'s latest Twitter argument

Locsin reacted to the ABS-CBN News story on the removal of rape from the list of death penalty offenses, tweeting, "Fair. Why not only on a case-to-case basis for heinous crimes as SC determines, which anyway can strike down every death sentence."

Another Twitter user then asked Locsin, "Are you saying that rape is not a heinous crime?" Locsin then tweeted in response, "It is a crime, an indignity, an outrage—but not a heinous crime. What's wrong with you?"

Locsin went on to tweet so many other examples of heinous crimes in response to other Twitter users who had found his rape comment insensitive.

But while Locsin seems to have viewed the Twitter encounter as just another lively exchange of ideas, so many others thought his remarks were in bad taste.

For what it's worth, at least Locsin's tweets are going to make people rethink the classification of heinous crimes. Sometimes collective outrage is needed to get things done.

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