Cebu groups say no to death penalty, lower age of criminal liability
CEBU CITY—Activist groups in Cebu on Friday launched a signature drive to protest the administration’s plan to bring back the death penalty and to lower the criminal age of liability from 15 years old to nine.
The activity was part of the nationwide campaign to gather at least a million signatures to convince lawmakers to vote against the two controversial bills.
“We want to show Congress that many are against plans to reimpose the death penalty and the lowering of the age of criminal liability. The duty of the state is to protect the lives of its citizens; not to kill its citizens. And if they want to discipline erring minors, they better do it the right way,” said Rep. Tom Villarin of the Akbayan Partylist who graced the launching at the North Reclamation Area in Cebu City.
He said they have until May 2016 to reach their target.
Villarin expressed hopes that lawmakers will vote according to their conscience and not because of any prodding from Malacañang.
“Let us not enact laws by force. If that happens, it’s just so alarming,” he said, alluding to threats by Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez to remove those opposed to the death penalty bill from plum posts in Congress.
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