Prelate to Filipinos: Elect leaders who will champion cause of life, fight culture of death

Published June 24, 2021, 8:48 AM

by Leslie Ann Aquino

The head of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines Episcopal Commission on Prison Pastoral Care (CBCP-ECPPC) has asked Filipinos, especially the youth to elect leaders who will champion the cause of life and fight the existing culture of death.


“We challenge all sectors especially our youth to elect people who will rightfully serve the nation by championing the cause of life and fight the existing culture of death,” Legazpi Bishop Joel Baylon said in a statement dated June 24.

The prelate issued the statement on the 15th anniversary of Republic Act 9346 or the Death Penalty Prohibition Act of 2006.

Baylon reiterated their opposition to death penalty, saying that “every person deserves a second chance in order to correct his or her wrongdoings.”

Even Pope Francis, Baylon said, in his teachings, has constantly stressed that the taking away of life is “inadmissible.”

“Every person is valuable as he or she is created in the image and likeness of God. Thus, we strongly and unequivocally oppose the move of the present Congress to restore the death oenalty in our Justice system,” he said.

“We maintain that the death penalty is violative of the inherent dignity of the human person. No person, no matter how evil he is perceived to be, is beyond redemption and reformation,” added Baylon.

He said the death penalty will only mostly victimize the poor.

“Our past experiences show that most of those who were meted the death penalty were indigent and poor individuals, who simply could not afford quality legal representation to defend them before the courts,” said Baylon.

He added that the death penalty cannot work in an imperfect judicial system like ours.

“Once carried out, the death sentence is irreversible, and there is no possibility for rectifying an erroneous judgment,” Baylon said.

He then urged Filipinos to continue “affirming our option for life, and clamor for the State to pass laws which will make our criminal justice system more restorative and not merely punitive.”