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    » 01/20/2011, 00.00

    PHILIPPINES

    Filipino Catholics oppose return of the death penalty



    Capital punishment was abolished in 2006. For the secretary of the Commission on Prison Pastoral Care, other means are available to prevent crimes and uphold the law, which is often broken because of the country’s high level of corruption and impunity.

    Manila (AsiaNews/ Agencies) – Filipino Catholics oppose the reintroduction of the death penalty as proposed by some senators. It is inhuman and will disproportionately affect the weakest, making the country’s justice system even more dysfunctional.

    Rodolfo Diamante, executive secretary of the Commission on Prison Pastoral Care of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines, urged the authorities to find a long-term solution to the problem rather going for a quick fix. “It’s about time that they look at the problem of enforcing the law instead of looking at the death penalty,” he said.

    In one of the most corrupt countries in the world, capital punishment would increase the risks of judicial error. Instead, the law should be first enforced, then arrest should be certain, and finally you prosecute. “As long as these are not strengthened, we will always have people being able to run away with the crime that they have committed,” Diamante said.

    Abolished after the fall of the late dictator Marcos in 1987, the death penalty was reintroduced and abolished several times since then.

    The latest time came in 2006 when then President Gloria Arroyo had the law abolished just before her trip to the Vatican to meet Pope Benedict XVI.

    However, a recent crime wave with its lot of murders and abductions has pushed some politicians and civil society leaders to demand its reintroduction, at least for the worst crimes.

    Not everyone is convinced of the effectiveness of the death penalty. In fact, current President Beniño Aquino is among its opponents.

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    See also

    16/01/2004 philippines
    Bishops: Capital punishment is government's thirst for death


    14/01/2004 philippines
    Bishops ask presidential candidates to say "no" to death penalty


    21/04/2008 UAE - PHILIPPINES
    Blasphemy: three Filipinos in jail in Sharjah, and one Turk faces death in Gedda
    The three are accused, in the Emirates, of having ripped a page out of the Qur'an, according to an employee of the company that has fired them. In Saudi Arabia, the appeal process has opened for a barber condemned to death for blasphemy.

    20/03/2006 INDONESIA
    Pope blesses three Catholics condemned to death

    Yesterday, the bishop of Manado, northern Sulawesi, visited Tibo and his friends in prison, as "special envoy" of the Vatican. Benedict XVI invited the three convicts, victims of an unfair trial, to pray the rosary with him during this difficult time.



    25/09/2006 INDONESIA
    Body of Dominggus da Silva returns to Flores after execution in Palu

    The authorities lifted an initial ban and allowed the remains of the youngest of the three executed Catholics to be taken for burial to his village of origin on the island of Flores. 10,000 people attended the ceremony.





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