CEBU CITY — A march-rally was participated in by a multi-sectoral group to express their opposition for Congress’ plan to reinstate the death penalty in the country.
Headed by Fr. Robert Reyes, president of the Coalition Against Death Penalty, and Dr. Rene Joseph Bullecer, the rally was also a call on all Catholic churches as well as other churches to make a stand against the “culture of death” being espoused by the current administration.
Reyes said the death penalty was abolished by President Corazon Aquino, restored by President Fidel Ramos before stepping down from Malacañang and implemented by convicted plunderer President Joseph Estrada. In 2006, President Arroyo abolished the death penalty because the Philippines was a signatory of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Civil and Political Rights, www.sunstar.com.ph rep
Ninian Sumadia, a youth leader who joined the May 8 rally, claimed a Supreme Court study showed that 71 percent of those meted the death penalty during Joseph Estrada’s presidency was either later found to be innocent or their cases needed to be reviewed.
Reyes said he was present during all seven executions during Estrada’s time. “In our study, we have evidence that at least one of the seven persons executed was innocent,” he said.
“We have senators and congressmen, who are not pro-life at all. They promote death. And the Catholic Church should come out from its hibernation and come out strongly that the gospel that we preach is the gospel of life. And we cannot tolerate anyone who promotes the gospel of death,” he said.
By: Sam Bautista