Opposition Senator Leila M. de Lima has reiterated her firm stand against efforts to reimpose death penalty in the country as she vowed to continue advocating for the abolition of capital punishment worldwide.
In her message on the World Day Against the Death Penalty today (Oct. 10), De Lima said that restoring the capital punishment is totally inappropriate given the loopholes in the current justice system in the country.
“I am one with the international community in observing this meaningful occasion to further strengthen our fight against death penalty, to raise awareness on the misconceptions about this unjust measure, and to achieve our collective goal of abolishing capital punishment worldwide,” she said.
“Time and again, I have always stood firm in my opposition to the death penalty. And I will never tire in advocating against the capital punishment as it is anti-poor, anti-Christian, and has not been proven to prevent crimes,” she added.
Held October 10 every year since 2003, World Day Against the Death Penalty strengthens the international fight to abolish this grave and unjust policy.
In the middle of a raging pandemic that has already killed thousands of our countrymen, Duterte has made another push for the reimposition of the death penalty for crimes specified under the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 during his 5th State of the Nation Address (SONA) last July.
Since assuming office, Duterte has consistently pushed for the reinstatement of death penalty, which was brought back under then president Fidel Ramos’ administration, but abolished anew under former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s term.
“Of course, leaders like Duterte and his henchmen will always go for such a draconian solution,” De Lima said. “Aptly put, this regime’s main policy is to Kill, Kill, Kill.”
De Lima, a known human rights defender here and abroad, stressed that the reimposition of death penalty will only be an additional license to kill for a murderous regime that has been weaponizing the law against the poor and government critics.
“We can never atone for wrongful deaths. Hindi na kailanman maitatama at maibabalik ang kinitil na buhay, lalo na ng isang inosente,” she said.
Instead of death penalty, De Lima said the country needs more measures that will ensure the swift delivery of justice, certainty of arrest, and assurance of punishment.
“This is why I continue to push for measures to fulfill these goals, such as qualified reclusion perpetua for heinous crimes, and to streamline and strengthen the process of criminal investigation,” she said.
“As I have said, my situation ought to serve as the best argument against capital punishment. Under a tyrannical regime controlled by a vindictive man, the possibility of persecuting and convicting an innocent is high,” she added.
De Lima, the staunchest critic of Duterte’s war on drugs, remains detained on trumped-up and politically-motivated illegal drug trading charges fabricated by the current regime due to personal and political vendetta. (30)