FACTS On June 24, 2006, President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo signed a law abolishing the death penalty. Philippine legislators had passed the bill to abolish capital punishment on June 6. A new Constitution had abolished the death penalty in 1987, but gave Congress the option of restoring it for "heinous" crimes. Alarmed by a rise in crime, lawmakers did just that in 1994 making it applicable for 46 crimes. Capital offences punishable by death under the 1994 law included non-violent crimes such as embezzlement of 50 million pesos or more of state funds. On December 18, 2008 and December 21st, 2010, the Philippines co-sponsored and voted in favour of the Resolution on a Moratorium on the Use of the Death Penalty at the UN General Assembly. Stands and opinions on the death penalty History of death penalty in the Philippines The history of the death penalty was extensively discussed by the Supreme Court in People vs. Echegaray. As early 1886, capital punishment had entered the Philippine legal system through the old Penal Code, which was a modified version of the Spanish Penal Code of 1870. The Revised Penal Code, which was enforced on 1 January 1932, provided for the death penalty in specified crimes under specific circumstances. Under the Revised Penal Code, death is the penalty for the crimes of treason, correspondence with the enemy during times of war, qualified piracy, parricide, murder, infanticide, kidnapping, rape with homicide or with the use of deadly weapon or by two or more persons resulting in insanity, robbery with homicide, and arson resulting in death. The list of capital offenses lengthened as the legislature responded to the emergencies of the times. In 1941, Commonwealth Act (C.A.) No. 616 added espionage to the list. In the 1950s, at the height of the Huk rebellion, the government enacted Republic Act (R.A.) No. 1700, otherwise known as the Anti-Subversion Law, which carried the death penalty for leaders of the rebellion. From 1971 to 1972, more capital offenses were created by more laws, among them, the Anti-Hijacking Law, the Dangerous Drugs Act, and the Anti-Carnapping Law. During martial law, Presidential Decree (P.D.) No. 1866 was enacted penalizing with death, among others, crimes involving homicide committed with an unlicensed firearm. In the aftermath of the 1986 revolution that dismantled the Marcos regime and led to the nullification of the 1973 Constitution, a new constitution was drafted and ratified. The 1987 Constitution provides in Article III, Section 19 (1) that: Excessive fines shall not be imposed, nor cruel, degrading or i nhuman punishment inflicted. Neither Neither shall death penalty be imposed, unless, for compelling reasons involving heinous crimes, the Congress h ereafter provides for it. Any death penalty already imposed shall be reduced to reclusion perpetua. Congress passed Republic Act No. 7659 (entitled "An Act to Impose the Death Penalty on Certain Heinous Crimes, Amending for that Purpose the Revised Penal Code, as Amended, Other Special Penal Laws, and for Other Purposes"), which took effect on 31 December 1993. Abolition of death penalty
On 24 June 2006, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo signed into law Republic Act No. 9346, entitled "An Act Prohibiting the Imposition of Death Penalty in the Philippines". kuro-kuro.org Stands and opinions on the death penalty Aquino to study death penalty In January 2011, President Aquino said he would study the re-imposition of the death penalty in the wake of calls from various groups following several heinous crime cases. He expressed concern over the re-implementation of capital punishment, saying that in the present judicial system, suspects who do not have the ability to secure the services of competent lawyers are prone to be wrongly convicted. “I will have to study that, and I don’t know where the calls are emanating from but our judicial system, as you know, is not perfect,” Aquino said in an interview at the 65th Founding Anniversary of the Liberal Party at Club Filipino in San Juan City. He said the death penalty could only be fully applied in a perfectly existing judicial system. For the past two decades, Aquino had many discussions regarding the issue, including with his mother, the late President Cory Aquino. “I had so many discussions from way back, close to two decades, and including discussions with my mother in that aspect. At the end of the day, I used to supp ort death penalty,” he related. “But I also witnessed that justice was not perfect, so I have to change my position since we cannot turn back the clock if we execute somebody, then we shouldn’t, in the off chance that we might render that penalty to somebody who was not guilty,” Aquino said.
April 2, 2012: In the Philippines, Vice President Jejomar Binay announced that reimposing the death penalty will not prevent criminality. “The police must be able to deter crimes through stronger intelligence and crime-fighting capabilities. It must be
trained and equipped to prevent crimes from occurring. Its focus should be dismantling the operations of criminal syndicates,” Binay said, reacting to calls for the reimposition of the death penalty in the country.
He said that the Philippine National Police (PNP) must be able to professionalize its ranks. “The corrupt few, the criminally-inclined and those with links to major crime syndicates must be booted out and charged appropriately,” he said.
He said the National Police Commission, in particular, should take the proper steps to expedite the disposition of cases against erring members of the police. He added reforms in the judicial system must be in place to ensure that there are no wrongful arrests and convictions and that trials are not delayed.
"If we are able to accomplish these, then we might not need to impose the death penalty,” he stressed. (Sources: philstar.com, 02/04/2012)
March 12, 2012 in Thailand Former Philippine senate leader Aquilino Pimentel’s visit to Thailand last week has given a welcome boost to
local advocates campaigning against the death penalty. Pimentel was a key figure in a three-year campaign which saw the death penalty abolished in the Phil ippines in 2006. “We find the death penalty an outmoded method of exacting justice…. It is an ineffective method of deterring criminals … and it’s cruel,” Pimentel said at a discussion at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Thailand during
his March 7-9 visit to Bangkok. He was speaking several days before Thailand tells the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva this week why it still implements capital punishment. “It is biased against the poor, the unlettered, the unconnected,” he said, pointing out that majority of death row convicts are poor and have had minimal education,” he told Thai senators, government officers and reporters.
Source: Sun star Manila March 31, 2012---Members of Congress snubbed the idea of re -imposing the death penalty law, saying capital punishment is not an effective deterrent of crime. “Death penalty has never been proven to be a deterrent. What is needed is more effective enforcement of our laws,” Senator Franklin Drilon, a member of the Senate committee on Justice and Human Rights, said in a text message. Senator Francis Pangilinan said Bartolome should back up his p osition with data and statistics before issuing a “knee - jerk response” to the issue of the rising criminality in the country. “When the death p enalty was in place, crime incidence was higher. It is the certainty of punishment not the severity of the p unishment that will deter crime and place fear in the hearts of would be criminals. Unless our justice system punishes more and punishes swiftly then criminality will continue to plague us,” Pangilinan said. Philippine National Police (PNP) Director General Nicanor Bartolome suggested the revival of the death penalty law after Thursday’s robbery at the Robinson's Galleria in Ortigas . The armed men hurled a grenade, killing one security guard and injur ing six others.
“Death penalty isn't the solution. It merely gives false comfort that we are addressing criminality when in fact we a re not t ackling roots of crimes in metro,” Palatino said in a text message. Malacañang, for its part, also rejected the re-imposition of the death penalty.
Death penalty is a cruel, futile and dangerous punishment for "very serious reasons and with due judicial process." According to Amnesty International, a worldwide movement of people working for internationally recognized human rights; death penalty is the ultimate, irreversible denial of human rights. Thus, they worked towards abolishing it in order to "end the cycle of violence created by a system riddled with economic and racial bias and tainted with human error."
By Delon Porcalla (The Philippine Star) Updated June 27, 2012 12:00 AM Comments (0)