Tagle: Strengthen the family to counter criminality

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Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle at the launch of Sanlakbay, the Archdiocese of Manila’s rehabilitation program for drug offenders, last October. File photo by Alvin Joseph Kasiban

DEATH penalty does not eliminate criminality from its roots.

In a statement last Feb. 2, Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle spoke out against the proposal to revive capital punishment, saying “punishment by death has not reduced criminality.”

“The death penalty has not reduced crime because it does not solve criminality from its roots. To help solve these roots of criminality, the Church and the state need to protect and strengthen the basic unit of society, which is the family,” he said.

The statement came after the death penalty bill reached the floor of the House of Representatives on Feb. 1.

Tagle said the roots of crime include “the loss of moral values, injustice, inequality, poverty, lack of access to food, education, jobs and housing, proliferation of weapons, drugs, pornography, loss of respect for sexuality and many others.”

The prelate said the death measure “might legitimize the use of violence to deal with every wrongdoing.”

He also warned that innocent people could be sentenced to death at the hands of a flawed judicial system.

“We need to reform institutions so they would safeguard justice while preventing the spread of a culture of violence,” Tagle said.

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