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Liberals to resist death penalty reintroduction in the Philippines
Friday 10 March 2017 11:03

Eleven years after it was abolished, the death penalty is set to return to the Philippines after the House of Representatives, in its third and final reading, paved the way for the reintroduction of capital punishment. The focus now is on the Senate, where LI full member Liberal Party has formed a decisive opposition; Liberal politicians, human rights groups, and the influential church have condemned the reintroduction of the death penalty.

The president of the Liberal Party Senator Kiko Pangilinan spoke with clear rejection of the proposal: “We are saddened that the minority in the House was not given the chance to debate the bill in full. It is unfortunate that most of the people’s representatives voted for a bill that is proven worldwide to not work in reducing crime and that overwhelmingly victimizes the poor and powerless. We maintain that death penalty is cruel, degrading, and inhuman. We commit to stopping the death penalty in the Senate.”

The immediate past President of the Senate - liberal Senator Franklin Drilon is firm in his view that the faulty legal system is rather an argument against the death penalty. "If we have a death penalty, we cannot correct mistakes," was the answer of Senator Drilon to those who believe that a hard hand should provide more security. According to him 10 senators already reject the death penalty reintroduction which requires the approval of 13 of the 24 senators. The opponents in the Senate show further problems: the Philippines would be violating international agreements with the reintroduction of the death penalty.

In a special report, Siegfried Herzog, South East Asia Regional Director of Friedrich Naumann Foundation, concludes that despite these draconian measures “the populist policies of President Duterte do little to change the causes of crime and corruption.”


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18-21 May 2017
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