Senator Pangilinan on Death Penalty
Photo by Wednesday Dawn Abelgas
Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan visited the University of San Carlos-Downtown Campus last February 17, 2017 at the Albert van Gansenwinkel Hall to consult the public regarding the re-imposition of House Bill No. 1 – the Death Penalty.
Being in the period of interpolations and still being debated on in the plenary house, civil groups and citizens are mobilizing the opposition of the bill.
The Department of Political Science: Center for Governance, Leadership and Development, along with The Silent Majority – Cebu, invited Senator Pangilinan to enlighten the majority concerning the topic of much debate.
Atty. Vincent Isles of The Silent Majority – Cebu moderated the consultation. Along with the senator were three other reactors: Atty. Regal M. Oliva of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP), Ms. Catherine Ruiz of Kaabag sa Sugbo and Mr. Marius Aragon, the OIC Chair of the Student Council Alliance of the Philippines (SCAP).
Representatives from different sectors and institutions were present as well. Some of them were from the Philippine National Police (PNP), University of San Jose – Recoletos, Cebu Technological University, Benedicto College, Cebu Normal University, University of the Philippines – Cebu and University of the Southern Philippines Foundation.
During the first part of the program, The Silent Majority – Cebu and the Department of Political Science presented their position papers in lieu with the reinstatement of the suspended Death Penalty law. Both sentiments were strongly against the revival of the said bill. The crowd was also encouraged to ask questions and share their insights about Death Penalty.
For the main part of the program, Senator Pangilinan supported his opposition to the re-imposition of the bill with a number of key points.
He highlighted the social and economic effects of the bill to the country, and stated that it is “cruel, degrading, inhumane, and victimizes the poor and powerless”.
As for the economic aspect, he said that it is a waste of national budget and it violates the international laws the Philippines is committed to. One of these is with the ICCPR’s protocol wherein the government is not allowed to kill anyone within its jurisdiction.
Senator Pangilinan gave a few alternatives that the government can do rather than reinstating the bill.
He emphasized the modernization of the justice system, and stressed out further that innocent people are likely to be killed and the Death Penalty will do more harm than good.
Another proposal was to increase the 0.8% budget of the judiciary so that courts can punish quickly, and impose fear and discipline. With this, the six years case life can be reduced to two and conviction rates will increase.
The reactors also shared their position on Death Penalty. Students and representatives from the media were also given the chance to seek insights from the senator and the reactors.
The afternoon ended with closing remarks from the Department of Political Science.