FULL TEXT: Death penalty is 'sanitized vengeance' – Alejano
Congressmen were given a chance to explain their votes before the plenary. Among them was Magdalo Representative Gary Alejano, who voted against House Bill 4727.
Here is the full text of Alejano's speech as provided by his office.
I have manifested a negative vote on House Bill Number 4727otherwise known as the “Death Penalty Law."
Please allow this representation a few minutes to explain my position.
We, in the Magdalo, vote no because we put significant importance to a person’s right to Life. Right to Life means that nobody can end or try to end one’s life, even the government. We subscribe to the Constitution, the “supreme law of the land," when it States in Article II, Section 5 that, “The maintenance of peace and order, the protection of life, liberty, and property, and promotion of the general welfare are essential for the enjoyment by all the people of the blessings of democracy.” The duty to respect and protect one’s life as stated herein extends even to criminals. Sending them to death is a violation of this right.
We vote no because the imposition of the death penalty is not justice per se, it is a sanitized form of vengeance/ retribution, guised as justice. Justice for us is the introduction of reforms, or improvement in our crime prevention system, the certainty of apprehension, of prosecution, and the imposition of a fair and effective criminal justice system, including the restorative aspect to afford criminals the opportunity to reform and rebuild their lives.
We vote no because sooner or later an innocent life may be executed because the penalty of death are meted out and administered by fallible humans, or of a flawed justice system. Wrongful convictions are always possible, and probable. The erroneous conviction may result to an erroneous execution of an innocent suspect, an irreversible verdict. “One innocent life taken is one life too many," as they say.
We vote no because we will lose our moral and competitive edge if we revive death penalty. Moral advantage in negotiating for the life of an overseas Filipino workers sentenced to death abroad. We have always intervened with a foreign government when a Filipino was sentenced to death. How can we tell other countries that killing is wrong when we allow killing in our own country as well? We also lose our competitive edge and sacrifice our Generalised System of Preferences Plus status with the European Union (EU) with the reimposition of the death penalty. We are risking our ties with the EU, and risk losing export sales which amounted to $7.17 billion in 2015.
History will certainly judge us beyond our terms here in the House of Representatives, into our retirement from public service.
Thank you Honorable Speaker. – Rappler.com