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PHILIPPINES: Death penalty is false solution

The Catholic Church’s prison ministry urged President Rodrigo Duterte and his allies in Congress to stop giving Filipinos “false hope” that death penalty will solve crimes. Rodolfo Diamante, executive secretary of the Bishops’ Episcopal Commission on Prison Pastoral Care, said the move to reinstate death penalty will never be an effective deterrent to crime.

He said the reimposition of capital punishment will be an “affront” to human dignity and called the government to avoid “quick fix solution” to crimes. “We appeal to the President and our lawmakers not to resort to a quick fix solution to the problem of criminality and stop giving us false hope that we will be safe and secure by putting people to death,” he said.

Death penalty, according to him, is the “easy way out” of addressing the “complex and pervasive” problems of criminality. “It is no more the answer for violent crime than abortion is the answer for unplanned pregnancies. Death is never the answer,” stressed Diamante.

He also said capital punishment and the unabated killings going on are a “travesty for efficiency in fighting criminality” and, therefore, “an effective tool for politicking.”

President Duterte is seeking the restoration of the death penalty in his war against illegal drugs and other crimes.


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