Repressive and regressive legislation and policies stunt sustainable socio-economic development.

The Duterte administration’s irrepressible campaign to reimpose the death penalty, reduce the age of criminal responsibility, delete libertarian safeguards in the Human Security Act, revive the Anti-Subversion Law and liberalize wire-tapping are counterproductive roadblocks to human development.

There must be a rights-based approach to legislation and policymaking for development to prosper and flourish.

If the human, civil, and political rights of the people, the very intended beneficiaries of development, are derogated and denied, development would be a farce and far-fetched.

The death penalty is an inhuman and archaic sanction that has been long empirically established as a non-deterrent to the commission of heinous crimes.

Reducing the age of criminal culpability to 12 years old will make children of tender age felons even as less than 2.0% of crimes are committed by children mainly because of extreme poverty and instigation by adults.

Removing the human rights safeguards in the Human Security Act like the liberalization of wire-tapping will open the floodgates to inordinate abuses.

Revival of the Anti-Subversion Law will violate the constitutional guarantees on freedom of association, freedom of speech and dissent, and peaceable assembly for redress of grievances, even as the now repealed Anti-Subversion Law, which was amended by the dictator Ferdinand Marcos as an instrument of martial law, failed to contain insurgency.