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Random Thoughts | On capital punishment

“Clergy leads fight vs death penalty. Bishops say that the Philippines is “retrogressing’ there is’ no real and concrete evidence that capital punishhet deters crime’ and that it is ‘prone to unjust sentences under a still corrupt justice system” (Headtime, Philippine Daily Inquirer July 24, 2019).


Per news report, Marinduque Bishop Marcelino Antonio Maralit Jr. said that “there was still” no real and concrete evidence that capital punishment deterred crime, “more questionable” in a country saddled with poverty, and is prone to unjust sentences under the pretense of a still corrupt justice system.”

In the same vein, “Sultan Maguid Marihom, executive director of the Pagadian city-based group Ummah Fi Salam, said that “there is a fear that it will be exploited by the power and applied in a discriminatory’ manner especially for the poor and added that ‘it would violate international laws, particularly the international convenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) to which the country was a party.”

It was also reported that “Arlyn Jawad Jumaoas, executive director of the non-profit Save the Children from War in Basilan, said ‘injustices would not be solved by capital punishment’ and that “man’s justice will never be perpect, you can never rectify your mistake.”

Even Eddie Villanueva, the founder of Jesus is Lord Church and now a Deputy Speaker of our House of Representatives “will not support it under the current state of the criminal justice system in the country.”

Clearly, the common objection on the enactment now of a Death Penalty Law is because of our present state of our justice system. This is the CON main point of view. Sana those who criticize death penalty will suggest some new novel solutions on how to effectively address our nagging heinous crime offers. Let’s now hear the death penalty advocates’ main point of view.
The common denominator of people favoring death penalty is that’s it is a deterrent to crime. Pro death penalty Filipinos always mentioned that when then President Marcos sentenced a big time Chinese drug lord to a firing squad and immediately executed publicly this drug lord, they said that the crime rate during that time suddenly decreased.

Noted Evangelist Dr. Pat Robertson, founder and chairman of the Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN), president of United States Media Corporation and Operation Blessing, Chairman of the Family Channel and has hosted the popular TV program, 700 Club since 1968 said: “Capital punishment, if administered surely and swiftly, is a great deterrent to crime. It is no deterrent whatsoever if it is uncertain and continuously delayed if those who scoff at society, and who constantly prey on innocent victims were aware that death would be the penalty for their crimes, then we would see the crime rate drop.”

Now as to the morality of the capital punishment, Dr. Robertson explained: “Unfortunately, capital punishment is a necessary corrective to violent crime. Our Catholic clergies or CBCP should inform publicly our faithfully of the morality or immorality of death penalty for our guidance. May I humbly suggest that our clergies in their homelies must also deal on certain hot issues of the day to guide our faithful on the moral aspects of these issues like death penalty.

Dr. Robertson continued: “capital punishment (see Leviticus 20 was only alternative for those who were considered incorrigible – those who committed acts that turned Israel against God, or destroy the fabric of society.

What is my take in this very controversial issue? Frankly, I would prefer hard labor punishment for those heinous crimes like rape with homicide/murder, plunder of government in the amount of P50 million above, pushing, of illegal drugs of certain amount, kidnapping with murder multiple murder, certain terroristic activities, and the like. Hard labor means lifetime imprisonment with certain quota of work to be done a day like making hollow blocks for public works, etc. inside a well-secured penitentiary. Security, assigned those personnel assigned there who will commit certain illegal acts in their duty must also be punished severely.

“Bakit mo papatayin bigla ang isang tao sukdulan ng kasamaan. Hindi mo siya mapapakinabangan. Gamutin natin sila hanggang sa kanilang kakayahan sa isang libreng trabaho habang buhay na. Would not be this more practical approach and not divisive?

Why is there so much evil in this world? Because of two reasons namely: 1) Satan and his evil forces, and 2) Human heart is “deceitful than all else” Dr. Robertson stressed: “Evil has a tendency to multiply itself. The more evil men there are in every place, the more the society as whole takes on an evil nature. Evil cannot be stopped by human efforts alone.”

We presently have a very sick society due to many evil men and women in our midst. Our Congress for instance, is full of “crocodiles”. Thus, it is very obvious that of the imperative of Real Social Transformation in our country is not being talked about by Filipinos. Our different institutions are deafeningly silent on this crucial issue. Our problems in the country are debated piece meal. Truly transformative leaders are badly wanting. How sad.

Thank God, we have today a President who is fighting hard for honest-to-goodness constitutional reform to address systems or structural reforms part of our needed real social transformation. Let’s support him to succeed for our own good.


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