Malacanang dissents CBCP statement over death penalty law
Several groups in the Philippines have repeated their plea to the government not to revive the death penalty in the country after the latest execution of an OFW in Kuwait.
Jakatia Pawa’s death “should make us all advocates against the death penalty,” Gulf News quoted the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) as saying.
In a CBCP News article, Bishop Ruperto Santos of the CBCP’s Commission on Migrants and Itinerant People also reportedly said that the government should not push through with death penalty because its reimposition will result in the country losing “any moral authority and legality to ask clemency for our Filipinos who are sentenced to death.”
Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella, meanwhile, said that when it comes to seeking clemency for OFWs on death row, “we cannot claim ascendancy, but we can claim perhaps clemency and mercy depending on the merit of each case.”
“We understand where the CBCP is coming from. However, we also have to understand that certain countries, especially those in the Middle East, condemn certain alleged crimes. But we have to understand that they operate from a different set of rules,” Gulf News quoted Abella as saying in an interview with government-run radio dzRB.
He added: “They don’t go by Western civil law. They go by Shariah, for example. They have different procedures. We’re not saying we’re not going to fight for that. However, we cannot claim ascendancy, but we can claim perhaps clemency and mercy, depending on the merit of each case.”
Pawa, a 44-year-old mother of two, was executed on Wednesday, January 25, even as she asserted her innocence in the murder of her Kuwaiti employer’s 22-year-old daughter. Her execution caught the Philippines off guard.