Alleged Australian pedophile Peter Scully will escape the death penalty in the Philippines if convicted, despite what police said about the horrific acts he did with children. Lawmakers in the country excluded the alleged crimes of the defendant from a death penalty bill. The bill passed in the Philippine parliament 216 votes to 54.
The bill reintroduces the death penalty, which was abolished in 2006 but only for eight narcotic-related offenses. Both prosecutors and politicians in Manila argued for the bill to cover the horrific acts Scully allegedly committed against children as young as 18 months.
According to officials, both in Australia and the Philippines, Scully was directing videos of the abuse and torture of children. The defendant sold these videos to dark net customers, including the infamous “Daisy’s Destruction”, showing an 18-month-old girl being sexually assaulted while being tied upside down by the legs.
The Australian pedophile allegedly assaulted an 11-year-old girl before strangling her and burying her body in a grave under a house he was renting. He also allegedly kept two teenage girls hostage for weeks. According to police information, Scully tortured, raped them, and when he discovered that they tried to escape, he made them dig their own graves. Fortunately, the two victims managed to escape. Eight girls the man abused, up to the age of 13, are currently held in witness protection in the country. Social workers say all victims are in a deeply traumatized state. Ruby Malanog, one of two lawyers prosecuting Scully, told the media that the alleged acts the man committed were “the most devastating thing I have ever seen.”
“I cried when I was watching them … in fact I feel like crying just now while talking about it,” she said.
For the bill to surely pass through the Philippine parliament, lawmakers agreed to drop the charges of rape, plunder, and treason from the list of those punishable by death. However, the most influential opposing party of the death penalty in the country is the Catholic Church. Last month, Pantaleon Alvarez, the speaker of the Philippine House of Representatives, cited Scully’s case while arguing against watering down the legislation.
“Have you watched the news about the pedophile? If you were in that situation, would you have wanted this kind of person alive … even though they abused a one-year-old child?” Alvarez said.
The bill passed over to the Senate for final approval, however, opposition lawmakers will challenge it in the Supreme Court.
Now, with Scully escaping the death penalty, the 53-year-old Australian could receive multiple terms of life imprisonment for his crimes. However, since the whole case is quite complex, a final verdict could take a few years to be reached. Scully is contesting 75 charges, including human trafficking, putting his alleged victims through the ordeal of testifying in court, despite repeatedly telling Philippine media that he was “remorseful” for what he had done to children.
Scully was working as a businessman in Melbourne until 2011 when he decided to escape to the Philippines. Back then, Australian law enforcement authorities charged the man with fraud. According to police information, the 53-year-old became a child porn kingpin in the Philippines, selling videos containing the torture and abuse of minors to clients for a price as high as $10,000.
In January, Philippine authorities launched a police investigation against Scully. According to officials, the 53-year-old had been running his child pornography business from his jail cell. When law enforcement arrested Scully in 2015, they also detained his girlfriend Liezyl Margallo. However, due to the lack of evidence in the case, authorities had to release Margallo from police custody. After the arrest, police found communications with the 53-year-old on the woman’s cell phone. The investigation showed that Margallo texted and called Scully until the week of her arrest. Investigators suspect that Margallo is still working – or never stopped working – for Scully. If this is true, the woman could be still running the child porn business while the Australian is locked in a jail cell.