A group of Catholic bishops, priests and laity have expressed their determination to fight the restoration of the death penalty bill in the Philippines.
According to Manila auxiliary bishop Broderick Pabillo, members of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), priests and even the laity will try to convince House representatives to oppose the restoration of the death penalty for heinous crimes by personally writing to them.
“We will continue our anti-death penalty campaign. We will campaign among politicians and the public and stress that this is not the solution to our problems,” Manila auxiliary bishop Broderick Pabillo told the Inquirer.
Last week, the capital punishment revival bill was approved by the House of Representatives at the committee level with a 12-6 vote and one abstention.
However, the approval of the proposal was deferred for next year in order to allow further debates and discussions regarding the pros and cons of reinstating the death penalty.Balanga Bishop Ruperto Santos added that he and other Catholics are fighting the death penalty based on their Christian morality.
“God gives life. It is his gift to us. As his gift we have to treasure and cherish it,” the bishop stated.
Other Catholic religious leaders also explained that the reason they oppose the reinstatement of the death penalty is because almost all of those who have been convicted and sentenced to death in the past were poor citizens who did not have enough money and influence to defend themselves in the court.
The lay Catholics have been divided on the issue, with many agreeing with the bishops while others pointing out that according to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, the government has a right to protect the society by imposing the death penalty on heinous criminals.