17 April, 2014 AsiaNews.it Twitter AsiaNews.it Facebook            

Help AsiaNews | About us | P.I.M.E. | | RssNewsletter





mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato
e-mail this to a friend printable version


» 01/15/2004 08:50
philippines
Bishops ask presidential candidates to say "no" to death penalty

Manila (AsiaNews) – The Episcopal Commission on Prison Pastoral Care asked presidential election candidates to declare themselves against the death penalty. Of the 5 candidates, including current president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, only one has signed an appeal addressed to the commission's president, Bishop Pedro Arigo: Sen. Raul Roco, alumnus of the Benedictine-run San Beda College.

Today members of the commission and Anti-Death Penalty Coalition attended a mass at Chino Roces Bridge, near the presidential palace. The mass was offered for two currently men on death row, who will be executed on Jan. 30. Fr. Robert Reyes, (who in recent years has organized various marches and "runs" to support the Church's social teachings on human rights, the environment, land reform, etc.) presided over the liturgy.

The coalition invited all presidential candidates to come sign a document in which they promise not to apply capital punishment. But only one showed up.

The law on capital punishment was reintroduced in the Philippines in 1993. The first death row inmates were executed in 1999. The last one was in Jan. 2000.  However, President decreed a moratorium during the Jubilee year.

At the beginning of her presidency in 2001, Gloria Macapagal Arroyo made a public statement announcing her position against the law. During her last visit to the Vatican she said she was still in favor of the moratorium. Yet, last December the president decided to lift the moratorium, following pressure from the Chinese-Filipino community which had suffered many kidnappings and blackmail.

Jesuit priest and coalition member, Fr. Silvino Borres, said that the Philippines are sinking ever more into the "culture of death". "As if all the violence and armed conflict bloodying the world were not enough, there is an increasing number in society who tend to end life when it is no longer believed to be useful," he said. The Philippine government holds that the execution of death row inmates, condemned to death for kidnapping, will improve the country's social and economic climate. "This is false. There are other factors making investments unsafe. The greatest cause is government corruption," said Fr. Borres.

Presidential elections will take place from May-June, after the national ones. Candidates for president include Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, Fernando Poe Jr., Sen. Panfilo Lacson , Br. Eddie Villanueva (a charismatic Protestant  leader) and Sen. Raul Roco.

At today's press conference after the mass, bishop Pedro Arigo explicitly asked Arroyo to "stop executions and abolish the death penalty." (SE)

e-mail this to a friend printable version

See also
01/16/2004 philippines
Bishops: Capital punishment is government's thirst for death
01/20/2011 PHILIPPINES
Filipino Catholics oppose return of the death penalty
04/21/2008 UAE - PHILIPPINES
Blasphemy: three Filipinos in jail in Sharjah, and one Turk faces death in Gedda
11/26/2005 INDONESIA
Poso bishop declares Catholics' death sentence unjust
04/18/2006 PHILIPPINES
Arroyo commutes 1,200 death sentences to life imprisonment

Editor's choices
SYRIA
I will miss you Fr Frans, you inspired us all, says Syrian Jesuit
by Tony Homsy*A young priest from the Society of Jesus remembers the life and work of Fr Frans van der Lugt, who was killed in Homs after he refused to abandon residents beleaguered by hunger and war. "He gave and continues to give everything for the Church, Syria, and peace. His story and qualities made him an exceptional missionary and witness to the Gospel." Reprinted courtesy of 'The Jesuit Post'.
FRANCE - IRAQ
Chaldean Patriarch on the uncertain future of eastern Christians, a bridge between the West and Islam
by Mar Louis Raphael I SakoThe wars in Iraq, Libya and Afghanistan have made things worse for their peoples, especially minorities. As Western policies have been a failure, fundamentalism has grown with the Arab Spring losing out to extremism. Muslim authorities have a role in protecting rights and religious freedom. The presence of Christians in the Middle East is crucial for Muslims.
CHINA - EUROPEAN UNION
Xi Jinping returns home full of deals and silence
by Bernardo CervelleraThe Chinese president signed agreements worth tens of billions of Euros in France, Germany, the Netherlands, and Belgium. He also stayed clear of any press conference. At the College of Europe in Bruges, he presented his dream of a new trillion-dollar Silk Road. Yet, he also made it clear that at home, the monopoly of power stays with the Party, squashing any dream for political reform in China. On the Internet, netizens disagree with him.

Dossier
by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
by Lazzarotto Angelo S.
pp. 528
by Bernardo Cervellera
pp. 240
Copyright © 2003 AsiaNews C.F. 00889190153 All rights reserved. Content on this site is made available for personal, non-commercial use only. You may not reproduce, republish, sell or otherwise distribute the content or any modified or altered versions of it without the express written permission of the editor. Photos on AsiaNews.it are largely taken from the internet and thus considered to be in the public domain. Anyone contrary to their publication need only contact the editorial office which will immediately proceed to remove the photos.