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Church slams plan to revive death penalty

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MANILA — Members of the clergy have slammed the statement of presidential aspirant and Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte regarding his plan to revive the death penalty once he is elected to the highest office in the country.


Retired Archbishop Oscar Cruz said he was shocked upon hearing about the plan, noting that reviving the death penalty by public hanging is against human life and not anymore attuned with the time.


“This is very shocking. At this age and time, doing these atrocities, which are against human life, is a pity precisely because civilization has already moved forward. In short, they seemed to have been born too late and the times of the barbarians are gone,” said the Catholic prelate.


He added, “I don’t agree with Mayor Duterte as far as taking human life so cheaply, so likely as if it is just getting rid of mosquitoes, getting rid of rats and the like. I’m sorry, I hope I’m wrong.”


Cruz said he is saddened that “there will be a candidate of this kind during this century.”


 Fr. Jerome Secillano, executive secretary of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines-Public Affairs Committee (CBCP-PAC), said that the presidential aspirant is misinformed that the death penalty prevents crimes.


“Duterte is misled into thinking that death penalty deters crimes. You do not deter crimes by hanging criminals. You deter crimes by having efficient and effective law enforcers, incorruptible judges and lawyers and strict and fearless prison administrators,” he said.


He added, “On impulse, it appears that killing criminals is effective. But if criminals believe that they can buy their freedom, of what use then is the death penalty? Reforming our criminal justice system is the ultimate solution to crimes.”


Duterte revealed that he is planning to revive the death penalty and the public hanging of convicted criminals in the earlier part of his administration if he is elected president.


He added that he would ask Congress to restore the death penalty by hanging in public.

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