FULL TEXT: Death penalty a 'curse' on Filipino Catholics – Atienza

The House of Representatives approved on 3rd and final reading the death penalty bill on Tuesday, March 7 with a vote of 217-54-1.

Congressmen were given a chance to explain their votes before the plenary. Among them was Buhay Representative Lito Atienza, who voted against House Bill 4727.

Here is the full text of Atienza's speech as provided by his office.

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From the beginning when we tackled this bill, sinimulan 'nyong hindi payagan ang malayang talakayan ng death penalty. You terminated the period of interpellation abruptly, which is against the rules of the House. You terminated the period of amendments, again unilaterally, without any debate on the basis of your desire not to listen to reason.  

Mga minamahal kong kasamahan, Mr Speaker, today we should have been allowed to explain before the vote. Tradition dictated that the Minority should have been given the chance to speak before the body. You did not allow this again. Kaya ngayong inaprubahan ninyo ang batas na ito, na isang sumpa sa ating bansa, a curse on our predominantly Catholic nation. 86% of our people are Catholics. We must put that in mind when we pass laws. We should consider our faith.

Mga minamahal kong kasamahan, Mr Speaker, hindi kayo nakinig sa tunay na tinig ng may-ari ng buhay ng bawat nilalang. We have many reasons to say no to this measure. Sapagkat ito ay labag sa ating mga nilagdaang kasunduan sa United Nations. Ito ay labag sa ating Saligang Batas. Ang sabi ng Saligang Batas – for compelling reasons you can restore the death penalty. What’s compelling about mismanagement? About corruption? In the police, in the prosecution, in the judiciary? Ang problema natin sa bansa na nagpalala ng ating problema sa droga ay ang corruption and mismanagement of government. Kaya kailangan po ay kwestyonin po natin ito sa pinakamataas na hukuman. We believe that this is a violation of our Constitution and even a violation of the rights of the members of Congress when you did not allow us to speak freely, fully and ventilate our sentiments, our feelings and our thoughts, our dreams and our vision as free Filipinos. 'Pinaglaban po namin ang karapatan at kalayaan hindi upang supilin ng tulad ng nangyari sa hapong ito.  

We have proven time and again that we can do it without killing anyone. Ang inyong lingkod ay biniyayaan ng Panginoong Diyos na maging aklalde sa Maynila nang 9 na taon. Ipinagmamalaki ko na sa 9 na taon na 'yon, wala kaming pinatay, wala kaming sinalvage, wala po kaming kinitil na buhay. Ang ginawa natin ay tamang pamamahala—we reformed the police, we made sure that economic activities are given to the poor. We were able to improve the conditions of criminality and fight drugs in the City of Manila from 1998 to 2007.

Ang aking pong nais ipaalala sa lahat ang buhay ay isa lang ang may-ari. Nung nilalang ang sanlibutan, ang ibon, insekto, ang ahas na gumagapang sa gubat lahat may buhay, ang tao lamang ang walang buhay.  Kumuha ng putik ang ating Panginoon, hinugis niya sa kanyang sariling mukha at anyo. Hiningahan nya ng buhay yang putik nayan. Doon tayo nagmula lahat bilang mga tao na nilalang ng Panginoong Diyos.  Lahat pong ito nilagpasan niyo ang kapangyarihan na 'yan. So I say today we rule, tomorrow nature and God will rule. – Rappler.com