A timeline of death penalty in the Philippines
THE imposition of the death penalty in the country has had a repressive history. For the most part (from 1848 to 1987), it was used to curtail the liberties, freedoms and rights of the Filipino people. In recent history, however, the death penalty was reimposed as a knee-jerk response to what has largely been seen as rising criminality in the country. The following, with help from the Mamamayang Tutol sa Bitay-Movement for Restorative Justice, traces the death penalty’s historical roots and context in Philippine society: Spanish Period (1521-1898)
* Spanish colonizers brought with them medieval Europe’s penal system, including executions. * Capital punishment during the early Spanish Period took various forms including burning, decapitation, drowning, flaying, garrote, hanging, shooting, stabbing and others. * Capital punishment was enshrined in the 1848 Spanish Codigo Penal and was only imposed on locals who challenged the established authority of the colonizers. * Between 1840-1857, recorded death sentences totaled 1,703 with 46 actual executions. * Filipinos who were meted the death penalty include Magat Salamat (1587); the native clergies Gomez, Burgos and Zamora who were garroted in 1872; and Dr. Jose Rizal, executed on December 30, 1896. All of them are now enshrined as heroes. American Period (1898-1934)
* The American colonizers, adopting most of the provisions under the Codigo Penal of 1848, retain the death penalty. * The Codigo Penal was revised in 1932. Treason, parricide, piracy, kidnapping, murder, rape, and robbery with homicide were considered capital offenses and warranted the death penalty. * The Sedition Law (1901); Brigandage Act (1902); Reconcentration Act (1903); and Flag Law (1907) were enacted to sanction the use of force, including death, against all nationalist Filipinos. * Macario Sakay was one of those sentenced to die for leading a resistance group. He was...
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