Thursday, November 26, 2009

Restore Death Penalty in the Philippines

By Lira Dalangin-Fernandez

The carnage in Maguindanao that killed at least 57 persons, including members of media, has revived calls for the restoration of death penalty on heinous crimes.

Manila Representative Bienvenido Abante called on his colleagues in the House of Representatives to begin discussions on pending proposals for the return of the death penalty.

"To restore death penalty is to preserve lives of innocent people," Abante said at the Serye forum in Quezon City Thursday.

Abante, a pastor, said criminals like those who murdered the 57 persons in Maguindanao do not recognize laws when they commit crimes. He said the death penalty will "deter" them from committing more criminal acts.

Bishop Dave Sobrepena of the Word of Hope said the government should now seriously consider the reimposition of death, especially after the Maguindanao incident.

"If you take away the criminals, you take away the possibility of them killing again," he said in the same forum.

Speaker Prospero Nograles, however, appeared lukewarm to the proposal, saying it should be debated on the floor for the lawmakers to have a consensus on the issue.

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