CHR opposes move to revive death penalty
MANILA, Philippines – The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) on Thursday reiterated its strong opposition to initiatives to re-introduce the death penalty for drug possession in the Philippines.
“The Commission continues to express its strong opposition to any move that would reintroduce the death penalty in the Philippines,” CHR spokesperson Jacqueline de Guia said in a statement.
“Crimes must be punished. But achieving justice is not simply about imposing harsh punishments, but rather ensuring that a responsive penal system is in place,” she added.
The CHR statement was made after the House of Representatives withdrew its approval of House Bill 8909 which revives the death penalty for individuals found in possession of illegal drugs in parties and social gatherings and meetings.
“Any proposal advocating for the reimposition of capital punishment also runs against the Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which seeks to abolish the death penalty across countries. The Philippines ratified this international statute in 2007,” de Guia pointed out.
Hence, CHR reminded the government to uphold its international commitments and its mandate to respect and protect the human rights of the Filipino people.
CHR, however, said it still recognizes the government’s duty to stop the proliferation of illegal drugs.
“The Commission on Human Rights recognizes the need to address the sale and use of illegal drugs due to its ill effects to individuals, families, and our communities at large,” de Guia said. / gsg
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