Church official hopes candidates against death penalty will win in midterm polls

Published March 25, 2019, 6:45 PM

by Francine Ciasico

By Leslie Ann Aquino 

It is the hope of a church official that candidates who are against death penalty will win in the May 13 midterm polls.

Rodolfo Diamante, executive secretary of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines Episcopal Commission on Prison, cited the likes of senatorial bets Chel Diokno and Pilo Hilbay who expressed opposition to the return of capital punishment.

“I hope those who are against death penalty will win,” he said in an interview after attending a Mass celebrating the commission’s 44th anniversary Monday.

Diamante said since the CBCP doesn’t endorse candidates, he would personally support the said candidates.

“We don’t campaign as CBCP, but individually we can,” he said.

To note, the Catholic Church is against death penalty.

Diamante, meantime, lamented the situations in the country’s jails and penal colonies.

The CBCP official cited the problem of jail congestion which he said has reached 600 percent.

He also cited the wrongful restriction of jail visits in the country, supposedly due to the continued presence of illegal drugs among inmates as another example.

“They continue to enter the colony even though you strip visitors naked for inspection. So who is bringing them in? How come you still cannot determine the source?” said Diamante.

He also lamented the continued failure of the Duterte administration to grant clemencies.

“During the time of PNoy (former president Noynoy Aquino), he did not grant any clemency. There were so much hope for Duterte. But it’s more of the same,” he said.