Statement of Sangguniang Laiko ng Pilipinas on House Bill 01, the “Death Penalty Law”

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At present there is an insistent attempt both in Congress and in the Senate to reimpose Death Penalty in our country. Such an attempt is supported by no less than President Rodrigo Duterte.

In 1987, death penalty was abolished in the Philippines. Its abolition clearly reveals a strong message that it has no place in our society where preservation and respect for human life is of utmost importance.

Based on their in-depth worldwide study on death penalty, Amnesty International itself concludes that Capital punishment does not work. There is a wealth of mounting evidence that proves this fact. “Death penalty is a symptom of a culture of violence and not a solution to it”. It is likewise discriminatory because poor and marginalized people have no access to legal resources to defend themselves. Aware of how our legal and justice system works, death penalty will never bring real justice. Further, it breaks essential human rights such as the right to life.

Pope Francis in his message during the recently celebrated Jubilee Mass for Prisoners calls for a Criminal Justice System that gives hope. He specifically calls for an improvement in the condition of life in the prison cells so that human dignity of the detainees is fully respected. He calls for a criminal justice system that is not exclusively punitive but open to the prospect of reinserting the convict in society.

Therefore we, at the Sangguniang Laiko ng Pilipinas appeal to our lawmakers to reject and oppose the restoration of Death Penalty. We also call on our God fearing countrymen to work for the respect and protection of human life.

For the Laiko Board of Directors,

ZENAIDA F. CAPISTRANO
National President

Noted by:

+MOST REV. BRODERICK S. PABILLO, D.D.
National Director
Chairman, CBCP Episcopal Commission on the Laity

22 November 2016

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