Home News Philippines' anti-death penalty lobby lacks numbers, says prison ministry official

Philippines’ anti-death penalty lobby lacks numbers, says prison ministry official

At present, there are six pending measures in Congress that seek to restore capital punishment in the country

The anti-death penalty lobby lacks the numbers in the Philippine Congress to block the passage of a law that will restore capital punishment in the country.

A Catholic prison ministry official admitted that the House of Representatives is dominated by pro-death penalty congressmen while the Senate has only four “sure allies.”

Gerry Bernabe of the Episcopal Commission on Prison Pastoral Care of the Catholic bishops’ conference told CBCP News that the lobby against capital punishment is “challenging.”



“But I believe, because we are on the right side, we can do this fight,” said Bernabe, national coordinator of the Volunteers in Prison Service.

“As the struggle against death penalty will go on, let us remain vigilant and stand up for what is right,” he said.

Bernabe made the statement after Mass at the CBCP chapel in Manila’s Intramuros district to mark the World Day Against Death Penalty, which will be observed on October 10.

The liturgy was presided over by Father Eli Rowdy Lumbo of the Philippine Jesuit Prison Service, with CBCP secretary general Monsignor Bernardo Pantin, and ECPPC executive secretary Father Nezelle Lirio.

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At present, there are six pending measures in Congress that seek to restore capital punishment in the country.

In a statement, Bishop Joel Baylon, ECPPC chairperson, said the death penalty “will only victimize the poor” who lack access to quality legal services.

“We strongly and unequivocally oppose moves in the present Congress to restore the death penalty in our justice system,” said the prelate.

The bishop called on legislators to instead pass laws that will make the country’s criminal justice system “more pro-life and pro-poor, more restorative and not merely punitive.”

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