Countries urge PH not to revive death penalty
MANILA, Philippines – United Nations member-states on Monday, May 8, urged the Philippine government to abandon its plan to restore death penalty.
They reminded the Philippine delegation to the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) being held by the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva, Switzerland, that the reimposition of the death penalty is against international laws.
Among those who declared their opposition to the plan are (this is list is being updated):
- Czech Republic
- Holy See
- New Zealand
- United Kingdom
The member states said the Philippines ratified in 2007 the Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), which aims to abolish the death penalty.
The Philippines also abolished death penalty through Republic Act 9346 in 2006 under the administration of former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. It became a state-party to the ICCPR the following year.
But a bill seeking to revive it was one of the priority measures of President Rodrigo Duterte, who has repeatedly said that criminals, especially those linked to illegal drugs, should be punished with death.
Amid opposition from human rights organizations and the Church, the House of Representatives approved on 3rd and final reading House Bill 4727 on March 7. (READ: Death for drug convicts: House passes bill on final reading)
A total of 217 lawmakers voted in favor of the measure while 54 voted against it and one abstained. (READ: LIST: How congressmen and women voted on the death penalty bill)
It will be a different story in the Senate, however. Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon said at least 13 senators are set to reject a similar bill. (READ: Death penalty bill already 'dead' in Senate – Drilon)
“It’s dead and the chances of resurrecting it before we even bring it to a vote are very slim, if not zero, at least in this [17th] Congress,” Drilon said last month. – Rappler.com