CPCB Clarifies That They are Standing Against Death penalty, Not against President Duterte

“Stand against death penalty, not against President Duterte” the point that the Catholic Bishop’s Conference of the Philippines had clarified yesterday regarding the Eucharistic celebration and mobilization that happened at the University of Santo Tomas in Manila.

“This is not anti-Digong (Duterte) or anything. This is a stand against death penalty,” said Fr. Edwin Gariguez, executive secretary of the CBCP National Secretariat for Social Action Justice and Peace, one of the organizers of the anti-death penalty march-caravan “Lakbay Buhay.”

“The gathering was simply a call to the country’s leaders not to support the revival of capital punishment in the country,” he added.

Senate minority leader Franklin Drilon said the bill reviving the death penalty that was passed by the House of Representatives in March is already “dead” in the Senate considering a 13 member voting against it.

Gariguez explained that the event is open to everyone against death penalty regardless of their political affiliation.

“It’s only accidental that Liberal Party (LP) senators are supporting it (anti-death penalty stance) but there is no political alignment here. As much as possible, we would like to get the support of as many senators as possible. This is regardless of party affiliation. I hope people won’t put political color into this,” Gariguez explained that the event is open to everyone against death penalty.

Senator Risa Hontiveros also attended the said mobilization which the CBCP official feels grateful about because together with the Senator and some lawmakers who have previously supported the passage of the Reproductive Health are now one with a different campaign.

“We are happy that some senators are supporting us on this even the pro-RH…it goes beyond adhering to the church’s position because this (death penalty) is more universal that’s why we need to be united on this issue,” said Gariguez.

The CBCP official also hopes that through march caravan “Lakbay Buhay”, it becomes a realization for the senators about the position of the people on the issue of death penalty

“We brought this not just here in Manila but to Mindanao and Visayas to show that people are clamoring not to pass this bill. That’s the point of this pilgrimage – to show the groundswell of support of the people,” Gariguez said.

The “core pilgrims” of Lakbay Buhay started their 21-day cross-country march caravan on May 4 for the hope that they could educate communities on why the death penalty is inhuman, ineffective, illegal, and anti-poor.

Source: Manila Bulletin