OFW's execution in Saudi shows PH can't adopt death penalty – Locsin

MANILA, Philippines – The recent execution of a 39-year-old Filipino worker in Saudi Arabia shows the Philippines cannot adopt the death penalty, said Foreign Secretary Teodoro "Teddyboy" Locsin Jr.

"Damn. This is why we cannot adopt the death penalty; we lose the argument of respecting our culture which abhors the taking of a human life by a cold formal state justice system when we believe that a state exists to protect life," Locsin said in a tweet on Thursday, January 31.


Locsin tweeted this after the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Thursday confirmed that a 39-year-old Filipina helper in Saudi Arabia, who was found guilty of murder, was executed

Saudi Arabia carried out the execution on Tuesday, January 29.

The Philippines has appealed for overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) on death row abroad, even as President Rodrigo Duterte has pushed for the reimposition of the death penalty in the Philippines. The proposal to reinstate the death penalty, however, has languished in Congress.  

Buhay Representative Lito Atienza earlier warned that reimposing the death penalty in the Philippines will likely hurt the Philippines' efforts to save OFWs on death row.

"Should Congress reinstate the cruel and inhuman punishment, it would be extremely problematic for us to plead with other governments for compassion, if we ourselves are killing own convicts here – if we ourselves do not respect the value of human life," Atienza said. – Rappler.com

Paterno R. Esmaquel II

Paterno R. Esmaquel II, news editor of Rappler, specializes in covering religion and foreign affairs. He obtained his MA Journalism degree from Ateneo and later finished MSc Asian Studies (Religions in Plural Societies) at RSIS, Singapore. For story ideas or feedback, email him at pat.esmaquel@rappler.com.