Press Release
April 20, 2006


Senate Minority Leader Aquilino Q. Pimentel, Jr. (PDP-Laban) today said he welcomes the Malacañang announcement that President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is ready to certify the bill that will repeal the death penalty law (Republic Act 7659).

Pimentel said a presidential certification of the bill as urgent is in order since the measure had long been reported out for floor deliberations in both the Senate and House of Representatives.

The Senate version of the bill, principally authored by Pimentel, has the support of 15 other senators.

He said that after Mrs. Arroyo decided to commute all death sentences to life imprisonment, the next logical step is for Congress, with Malacañang support, to scrap the 12-year old law imposing death penalty for heinous crimes like murder, rape and kidnapping-for-ransom.

Pimentel said he is in full accord with the Presidents belief that the death penalty should be phased out to give convicted criminals a chance to reform themselves.

If that is the Presidents intention, although we are not political allies, then she is on the right track on her plan to certify the bill, he said.

However, the minority leader expressed reservations over the Presidents wholesale commutation of all death sentences, particularly those already affirmed by the Supreme Court.

Pimentel said that the proper step is for the President to review and decide on death sentences on a case-to-case basis in accordance with prosecures set forth by law. He said that is a fundamental rule that he learned in law school.

Pimentel maintained that the death penalty is an unChristian and inhuman form of punishment that is not allowed by the Constitution.

He said most democratic countries have already abolished the death penalty. He said the Philippines is probably one of four to five countries where the death penalty is still being prescribed by the courts.

News Latest News Feed