ACT Teachers Representatives Antonio Tinio and France Castro together with different sectors opposing death penalty mobilized today in front of the House of Representatives (HOR) to condemn the possible approval on third reading of the death penalty bill.
House Bill 4727 which imposes death penalty was approved in second reading last Wednesday.
“Again, the railroading happened in a snap when the pro-death penalty majority succeeded to cut the period of amendments, depriving the other house members including us, the Makabayan bloc, of our rights to register our strong opposition,” Tinio said.
“The ratification of The Second Optional Protocol binds the Philippines and we cannot reimpose death penalty even if with compelling reason, which the proponents failed to prove anyway,” Castro justified.
“We have long reiterated that the death penalty bill is blatantly anti-poor and not a deterrent to crimes. The reimposition of death penalty without institutional reforms is alarming considering the current state of our law enforcement and judicial system. The current spate of extrajudicial killings (EJKs) shows that ninety-nine percent of the victims of drug-related cases come from the ranks of the poor. The poor will suffer as victims of corruption and repression as long as there are no reforms to address such matter,” Tinio stressed.
“Moreover, this anti-people bill will start a creeping death penalty into our entire penal system. For now, it may only be drugs. Later, death will be sought for other crimes,” Tinio added.
“We would like to appeal to our fellow legislators to heed the people’s clamor against death penalty, which will only intensify if they force its passage. We are calling on the people to show their opposition to the death penalty by trooping to the HOR’s plenary sessions this week and joining the protest actions to call for the junking of the death penalty bill,” Castro ended. ###