Press Release
June 6, 2006


The Senate approved on third reading, with a vote of 16-0, Senate Bill 2254 under Committee Report 72 that consolidated Senate Bills 694 of Senator Manny Villar, 226 of Sen. Sergio Osmea III and 1143 of Sen. Aquilino Pimentel Jr.

Its good that we managed to enact this important measure right before the Congress adjourns sine die. With this law, the Philippines has become the first country in Asia to abolish death penalty, says Villar, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Public Order and Illegal Drugs.

In a predominantly Christian country such as the Philippines, the death penalty contradicts the importance of human life, to defend life and not to take it away. We cannot teach our children that killing is wrong by killing. Lets not uphold a culture of death and violence.

Capital punishment has not been effective as a deterrent to crimes. What really prevents the willful violation of the penal code is vigilant law enforcement mechanism, a resolute prosecution of criminal cases and a speedy resolution by the courts.

Also, Capital punishment cannot be dissociated from its social implications. Very clearly, it is biased against the poor and the powerlessThere is also the distinct probability of miscarriage of justice. It is bad enough to be falsely convicted and sent to jail, but to execute the innocent is for the state to commit a gross injustice.

Villars Senate Bill 694, one of the three bills consolidated into the approved version, seeks to provide for the imposition of the penalty of reclusion perpetua instead of the death penalty in cases where the law prescribes the death penalty and for other purposes.

To recall, on Easter Sunday, President Arroyo commuted to life imprisonment the death sentence of over a thousand convicts. Malacañang has also certified as urgent all bills calling for the abolition of death penalty.

News Latest News Feed