Just recently, Pope Francis expressed his stand against the death penalty under any circumstance, however, Senator Manny Pacquiao, a former Roman Catholic before he was convereted to Born-Again Christian is adamant in pushing for the reimposition of death penalty in the country using even Biblical passage to back him up his stand.
“Death penalty is inadmissible under all circumstances because it constitutes an attack on the dignity of human beings”, said the pope.
For Pacquiao, a regularly Bible reader even cited his argument that scripture allows the authority, in this case the government, to impose the death penalty on people who commit crimes. The Bible allows the government to impose the death penalty on those who have committed heinous crimes. The death penalty is also in the Constitution, he added. And if the Bible is not enough to back up his argument, Pacquiao said the Constitution is also there to justify the re-imposition of the death penalty in the country.
“This is not about me or what I want but this is in the Bible and also in our Constitution, so there is no problem,” Pacquiao told radio station DWIZ.
Pacquiao previously filed three bills to revive the death penalty but he has agreed to limit the scope to heinous crimes.The death penalty bills were previously taken up by the Senate committee on justice and human rights headed by Sen. Richard Gordon but the deliberations hit a snag after questions over its implication on the treaty obligations of the country were raised.
No other hearing was conducted after that due in large part to the hesitation of Gordon to take up the issue since he is against the revival of the death penalty himself. To compromise in order to allow the debates to continue, Pacquiao was tasked to handle the bill.
According to Pacquiao, one more hearing would be conducted before he would sponsor the bill in plenary. He said that the bill should be debated in plenary so that his colleagues would be enlightened about faith and about government.
Pacquiao justified further by saying that there is limit in the imposition of death penalty for drug trafficking, rape with murder, kidnap for ransom and robbery with murder.
As of this writing, The Philippine Business and News is asking a statement from any of official of Catholic Bishop of the Philippines (CBCP) or any church heirarchy on the invalidation of Pacquiao on Pope’s stand on death penalty but to no avail.
Pacquiao wants the proposed death penalty bill be approved in the Senate within the year.