According to Republic Act No. 7659, death penalty is a penalty for crimes that are "heinous for being grievous, odious and hateful offenses and which, by reason of their inherent or manifest wickedness, viciousness, atrocity and perversity are repugnant and outrageous to the common standards and norms of decency and morality in a just, civilized and ordered society." 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." BACKGROUND
Next, I would like to present a brief background on death penalty in the Philippines. In 1987, the Philippines made history by becoming the first Asian country in modern times to abolish the death penalty for all crimes. However, six years later, in 1993, the death penalty was reintroduced in the Philippines for 46 different offences. Such of those are murder, rape, parricide, infanticide and qualified bribery, among others. Executions resumed in 1999 until year 2000 when former President Estrada announced a moratorium on executions. This has been continued by current President Arroyo, in practice, throughout her presidency. Now, under her rule, the death penalty is again abolished . STANCE
I am in favor of abolishing the death penalty law in the Philippines. Allow me to present my arguments. First, it violates the right to live. Second, it is a very cruel practice. Third, it is anti-poor. Last, death penalty defeats its purpose. ARGUMENTS
First, the imposition of death penalty violates a person's right to live. Article III Section 1 of the 1987 Constitution, otherwise known as the Bill of Rights, states that "No person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property…" By imposing death penalty, the right of a criminal to live is being violated. Furthermore, it is a known fact that majority of Filipinos are Catholics. As said, we have one of the world's largest Christian populations. According to the Ten Commandments of the Church, thou shall not kill. Therefore, nobody is given the right to commit the lives of others. Whether that person is a criminal or not, nobody has the right to play God and take the life that He has given. Filipinos should "respect and value the sanctity of human life and uphold the virtue and religious doctrines that are expected of us as a dominant Christian nation." Second, it is a very cruel, inhuman and irreversible practice. It is very cruel and in human because persons are killed. This alone is proof. Once a person is killed, the act cannot be reversed. Third, death penalty is anti-poor. In a country like the Philippines with a very slow, sometimes inefficient, unfair and unjust judicial system, death penalty is simply not viable. Majority of the 1200 people on the death row are poor. Maybe, for some, being there is what they deserve. But for many, it is poverty that brought them there. Not everyone in that row should die. Many are simply there because they ran against some filthy rich and powerful person or they could not afford to get a good lawyer to defend them. A study showed that "death penalty is anti-poor as the underprivileged who cannot afford the services of competent counsels are oftentimes the ones convicted of death penalty". "Studies have shown that the death penalty is disproportionately imposed on the poorest, least educated and most vulnerable members of society. It takes the lives of offenders who might otherwise have been rehabilitated." Lastly, death penalty does not live up to its purpose. It is not able to serve its purpose which is to prevent crimes and to preserve peace and order....