Philippine Bishops stand firm against death penalty
MANILA, Jan. 30, 2017– Violence against violence? It won’t solve anything, the country’s Catholic bishops have warned Monday.
In a statement released after their 3-day plenary assembly in Manila, the prelates said that the death penalty is no different from the crime it punishes.
That’s why it is regrettable, CBCP President Archbishop Socrates Villegas said, that there are “strident efforts” to restore the capital punishment in the country.
“When we condemn violence, we cannot ourselves be its perpetrators, and when we decry murder, we cannot ourselves participate in murder, no matter that it may be accompanied by the trappings of judicial and legal process,” he said.
“Throughout the world, the trend against the death penalty is unmistakable, and international covenants, one of which the Philippines is party to, obligate us not to impose the death penalty,” said Villegas.
The release of the statement also coincided a day before the House of Representatives begins its plenary debates on the death penalty bill on January 31.
The measure allows courts to impose death as punishment for a wide range of heinous crimes, particularly drugs, rape and murder.
Villegas reiterated that the Gospel of life is at the heart of Jesus’ message.
“It is this Gospel we must preach. It is this Gospel that we must uphold,” Villegas said.
“We therefore unequivocally oppose proposals and moves to return the death penalty into the Philippine legal system.”
“Though the crime be heinous, no person is ever beyond redemption, and we have no right ever giving up on any person,” he added. (Roy Lagarde/CBCPNews)
Read the source: http://www.cbcpnews.com/cbcpnews/?p=90837
Statement on Death Penalty
The Gospel of the Lord Jesus is the Gospel of Life. It is this Gospel we must preach. It is this Gospel that we must uphold. We therefore unequivocally oppose proposals and moves to return the death penalty into the Philippine legal system. We took a considerable stride in the defense of life when we repealed the Heinous Crimes Act that provided for the death penalty in what were considered “heinous crimes”. We regret that there are strident efforts to restore the death penalty. Though the crime be heinous, no person is ever beyond redemption, and we have no right ever giving up on any person. When we condemn violence, we cannot ourselves be its perpetrators, and when we decry murder, we cannot ourselves participate in murder, no matter that it may be accompanied by the trappings of judicial and legal process. Throughout the world, the trend against the death penalty is unmistakable, and international covenants, one of which the Philippines is party to, obligate us not to impose the death penalty. We urge the government to champion life for all!
For the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines
+SOCRATES B. VILLEGAS
Archbishop of Lingayen-Dagupan
January 30, 2017
Read the source: http://www.cbcpnews.com/cbcpnews/?p=90811
Stop killings too, bishop urges PNP
MANILA, Jan. 30, 2017 — After the police force stopped its “war on drugs”, a Catholic bishop urged the agency to make drastic efforts to end the summary executions and vigilante killings of suspected drug pushers in the country.
Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo said it is the right thing for the Philippine National Police to do amid reports that some officers used the anti-drug campaign to mask their criminal activities.
“Knowing that they’ve stopped the war on drugs, it means they should stop the extrajudicial killings,” Pabillo said.
National police chief Ronald dela Rosa on Monday ordered a halt to anti-drug operations following the killing of a South Korean businessman by rogue officers.
In a press conference, Dela Rosa said they would focus first on “cleansing” their ranks of scalawags following the kidnapping, leading to the death by strangulation of Jee Ick-joo, on the grounds of the national police headquarters.
Pabillo also said he is hoping the government would “really push through” with it, adding the suspension would result in more former drug addicts undergoing rehabilitation.
“Many people didn’t want to come to the programs because of fear. Now, if the fear factor is out, we can work more on rehabilitating them,” said Pabillo.
More than 7,000 have been killed in a drug war since President Rodrigo Duterte took power last June 30. (CBCPNews)
Read the source: http://www.cbcpnews.com/cbcpnews/?p=90821
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