Pacquiao backs appeal to keep Jesus out of death penalty debates
MANILA, Philippines – Sen. Manny Pacquiao, who invoked the Holy Bible in previous discussions on the death penalty, echoed Senate President Vicente Sotto III’s recent appeal not to drag Jesus Christ in debates on the reimposition of capital punishment in the country.
“I agree with the suggestion of SP (Senate President) Sotto na i-ano yung kay Jesus kasi nung tinanong ako ano yun e sabi ko nga e kalooban ng Panginoon para tayo ay may kaligtasan,” Pacquiao told reporters at a victory party organized by PDP-Laban to celebrate the his recent victory against American boxer Keith Thurman.
“So ibahin natin yung topic o usapin pagdating sa death penalty para di ma-drag yung pangalan ng ating Panginoong Hesukristo,” he added.
Sotto earlier said that invoking Jesus Christ in death penalty discussions must be stopped.
During Tuesday’s Senate session, Pacquiao delivered a privilege speech where he cited Bible verses to underscore his support for the death penalty.
This was followed by a debate between Pacquiao and Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon, with the two lawmakers touching on the issue of the “wrongful execution” of Jesus Christ, to which the former disagreed saying that Jesus Christ sacrificed himself for the people.
Pacquiao earlier filed a bill to that will impose the death penalty with a fine ranging from P1 million to P10 million on individuals guilty of importing, selling, distributing, manufacturing illegal drugs, cultivating plants classified as dangerous drugs, and maintaining a drug den.
“Magkakaroon talaga ‘yan ng mahabang discussion as I’ve said sa aking privilege speech na mahabang discussion para mapabuti pa yung pagpapataw ng parusang kamatayan at ibig sabihin ko naman hindi yung mga users, kundi yung mga drug lords na nahuhulihan ng daan daang kilo so yun mga—kasi kung wala sila di sila.gumagawa ng shabu wala sigurong gagamit,” Pacquiao said.
Invoking the Bible
In 2017, Pacquiao explained that both the Bible and the Constitution allow the imposition of the death penalty for heinous crimes
“The Bible says do not kill. Ang ibig sabihin kasi noon pag nagkasala ka sa akin hindi kita pwedeng patayin. Let the authority handle that. We’re not talking about individually, but we’re talking the law of the land, which is approved by God and instituted by God. The government is instituted by God,” Pacquiao said.
The senator also raised the similar argument in 2018, when he cited a Bible verse, Romans 13: “For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason.”
“If you will read Romans 13 and study it carefully, God is giving the authority to impose death penalty to those who commit heinous crimes,” Pacquiao explained.
While Pope Francis himself said capital punishment was “inadmissible”, Pacquiao said the real authority remains to be Jesus Christ.
“As the Bible says, those who believe in my name, those who accept the Son become the children of God … the authority is Jesus Christ,” Pacquiao said. /gsg
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.