MANILA—The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) is standing firm over its position on the reimposition of the death penalty as capital punishment in the country.
In a statement issued at the end of its 114th Plenary Assembly, CBPC President Archbishop Socrates Villegas noted that everyone has the right to live and should be given the chance to change.
“We regret that there are strident efforts to restore the death penalty. Though the crime be heinous, no person is ever beyond redemption, and we have no right ever giving up on any person,” he said.
The Lingayen-Dagupan prelate added, “When we condemn violence, we cannot ourselves be its perpetrators, and when we decry murder, we cannot ourselves participate in murder, no matter that it may be accompanied by the trappings of judicial and legal process.”
He noted that the bad effects of the death penalty all over the world should be the reason for the country not to support and reimposed the capital punishment.
“Throughout the world, the trend against the death penalty is unmistakable, and international covenants, one of which the Philippines is party to, obligate us not to impose the death penalty,” Villegas added.
At the same time, the CBCP head asked the government to advocate life for all.
“We urge the government to champion life for all!” he said.
President Rodrigo Duterte is pushing for the revival of the death penalty in the country.
A bill to reinstate death penalty is pending before the House of Representatives.
The conference’s bi-annual meeting is being held every January and July where they discuss social, internal and church matters.