MANILA, Philippines — The Public Attorney’s Office (PAO) is relieved to know that an amendment has been included in Section 8 of the Death Penalty Bill that allows the PAO and Solicitor General (SolGen) to appeal to the President should they want to stop a death penalty from being carried out.
PAO Chief Atty. Persida Acosta said they are thankful that the bill has a safeguard especially for falsely accused people.
“May safeguard kung sakaling may duda ang taong bayan na hindi dapat mabitay ang isang tao, mapipigilan ang pagbitay.”
(There is a safeguard, in case people have doubts about a person’s conviction , we can impede the death sentence.)
Kabayan Partylist Representative Harry Roque cited a study conducted by the Supreme Court saying that a death sentence had been mistakenly given to death row convicts before.
“Nagkaroon ng pag-aaral ang Korte Suprema noong panahon na tayo ay may parusang bitay 71%, pito sa sampung pinataw na death penalty ay mayroong pagkakamali na nagawa ang hukuman.”
(The Supreme Court conducted a study before when we still had the death penalty, 71% or 7 out of 10 was mistakenly accused by the court.)
Roque said, the death penalty must not be implemented until there is decent justice system in the country.
According to the lawmaker, the moral ascendancy of the Philippines may be lost if the Death Penalty Bill becomes a law.
“Ito po ay napakalakas na argumento laban sa death penalty kung nais natin matulungan ang mga kababayan nating ibibitay (mga OFW sa ibang bansa), huwag po nating ibalik ang death penalty dahil pwede po nating sabihin sa iba’t ibang bansa na sa ating bayan wala tayong death penalty at on humanitarian grounds sana’y itigil yan.”
(This is a strong argument against death penalty. If we want to help OFW’s included in the death row, we must not implement the death penalty because then we can say to other nations that in our country we don’t have death penalty and on humanitarian grounds it should be stopped.)
Currently there are 12 million OFWs around the globe and 80 of them are in the death row. — Mon Jocson / UNTV News and Rescue
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