By: Elena Grace Flores
As more countries are abolishing capital punishment, the new President of the Philippines is re-instating it. In fact, the first bill filed in the 17th Congress under the Duterte administration is seeking to reinstate death penalty on heinous crimes through lethal injection. The President’s choice for the next Speaker Pantaleon “Bebot” Alvarez did the filing. In today’s age, the death penalty is considered barbaric and did not help at all in easing the crime rate of such countries that are still tolerating it – the reason why they are abolishing it.
Just analyse this simple case of a father that is on death row regardless of the crime committed. Their relationships with their families don’t just stop when they are sentenced to die. At the end of the day, the death penalty hurts more people than it helps by continuing the very cycle of violence it was put in place to break; according to The Nation. Revenge can happen and will surely escalate violence. How about those innocent prisoners who died by lethal injection and were proven innocent after a continued trial? Could Duterte bring them back?
However, the proposal to reinstate the death penalty must be done in accordance with the 1987 Constitution, which abolished capital punishment but allowed its re-imposition, with the approval of Congress, for heinous crimes. This will require congressional intervention, and the CHR is prepared to explain its position to Congress why it is opposing it; said CHR Chair Jose Luis Martin Gascon. The 3 reasons according to Inquirer are:
1. It constitutes what is effectively cruel, inhumane and degrading punishment prohibited in the Bill of Rights and international law.
2. It is contrary to the rehabilitative purpose of criminal justice and does not fully consider the possibility of mistake as it cannot be undone.
3. It is not a deterrent and is unequally applied on the poor.
Naturally, many senators would just swallow what the President wants in fear of triggering his anger as he is now a powerful president. Despite of that, this is where we can see who among those senators and congressmen would really fight for the common good of the people disregarding their future fate in politics.