If you recall, House Bill Number 4727 otherwise known as the Death Penalty Bill was passed by Congress on its third and final reading last March 7.
But the University of the Philippines Department of Political Science still isn’t convinced, so in response they posted their comprehensive take on why death penalty shouldn’t be supported.
In a statement posted on its Facebook page, they raised six salient points against the return of capital punishment which are summarized below:
1) The drug problem needs to be studied more
First, the Department questioned the statistics of the Duterte administration where it estimated that there were already 4 million drug users in the country.
“The magnitude of the drug problem must be properly ascertained to assess the proportionality of a response as grave as the reinstitution of the Death Penalty,” the statement read.
2) No sufficient evidence shows that death penalty significantly deters crime
They then said that it was “unacceptable” that the Duterte administration was only referring to personal experience and not evidence as a basis to push for the death penalty.
“The cost of Filipino lives is not worth the uncertain benefit of deterrence,” it read.
3) Criminals must still undergo our justice system
The Department also argued that denying criminals a chance at rehabilitation was something worse than letting the justice system fully take its course.
It added that the death penalty may end up further aggravating the country’s culture of violence and extrajudicial killings.
4) The death penalty was passed in Congress via shortcut
The Department explained that Congress watered down the bill in a shortcut move of sorts that removed most of its clauses so it would be easier to pass it through the Lower House.
This is why they believe that such a policy that dictates the circumstances for the punishment of a criminal should be given more time to be properly thought out.
5) We need to honor our international commitments
According to them, the United Nations Human Rights Council does not consider drug-related offenses as the most serious of crimes. It added that under the 1987 Constitution, the death penalty can only be imposed for heinous crimes.
They also cited the Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil Political Rights which the country is a signatory to.
“If we expect international law to protect Philippines interests, it is incumbent upon the country to honor and comply with these laws,” it read.
6) It’s against the Constitution
In their last point, the Department underscored the basic human right to life which is guaranteed by the Philippine Constitution.
“The proponents of the bill would have us make a choice between the rights of criminals and the rights of the victims of criminality. The rights of criminals and victims are not mutually exclusive,” it read.
The whole post can be read below: