Duterte’s call to reinstate death penalty worries bishop, NGO exec
PAGADIAN CITY — A bishop of the Iglesia Filipina Independente (IFI) church and an executive director of a nongovernment organization (NGO) here are concerned about the President’s call in his state of the nation address (Sona) to reinstate the death penalty in the country.
“Death penalty violates the right to life and there is no conclusive evidence that it can deter crime more effectively,” said Sultan Maguid Maruhom, executive director of the Pagadian City-based nongovernment group Ummah Fi Salam.
“It is very dangerous because our judicial system has not yet been reformed effectively. There is fear that it will be exploited by the powerful and applied in a discriminatory manner, without affording (the necessary) due process, especially the poor,” said Maruhom in reaction to the President’s Sona.
“It is not surprising that Duterte advocated the restoration of the death penalty given (his explicit stand) on those killings related to drugs,” said Bishop Ablon of IFI here.
“We condemn that as a church not only because of our faith but also because death penalty has never been proven to deter criminal acts,” he said.
“It is also anti-poor because the poor people cannot afford to win their cases in courts as they cannot afford even to hire good lawyers. The justice system of the Philippines is another problem. Innocent poor people are easily subjects of the death penalty,” he explained.
Maruhom said death penalty would be against international laws, particularly the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
In the first part of his Sona, the President thanked the people for the high satisfaction rating he continued to get from the latest Social Weather Station survey, adding it would inspire him to be more relentless in his war on drugs.
He also urged Congress to reinstate the imposition of the death penalty for heinous crimes related to illegal drugs and plunder.
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