FIRM ON its stand that justice cannot be served through death, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) released a statement supporting 16 senators and a number of congressmen who filed a resolution to repeal the death penalty law last March 3.

“The Bishops are for the repeal of the death penalty law. They believe that justice should be given its due course without resorting to capital punishment,” the statement said.

At the forefront of the CBCP’s advocacy campaign for the repeal of the law, the Episcopal Commission on Pastoral Prison Care (ECPPC) lauded the “more enlightened legislators who see beyond criminal acts”, noting that “finally our legislators would like to explore better alternatives to capital punishment to address the problem of criminality.”

Meanwhile, the ECPPC dismissed two separate pro-death penalty proposals made by Sen. Robert Barbers and by Sen. Loi Ejercito as “very lamentable, pathetic, and merely over-reactions.”

Barbers argued for the execution of death convicts at the rate of one or two a month, while Ejercito proposed to castrate those convicted of rape and child molestation.

The ECPPC said that the motivation of the two proposals is still vengeance and not the restoration of order in society. The commission added that they do not address the root of criminal acts, which should be the primary concern.

The ECPPC also stressed that the government and the lawmakers should not commit “the violence that we ourselves abhor.”

“The state is even more remiss in its duties and a derelict if it is the perpetrator of violence — and taking human life is a strong form of violence, whether through the ‘less painful and more humane’ lethal injection or the more inhuman execution by firing squad,” the commission said. Alder T. Almo, with reports from the CBCP Monitor

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