CBCP welcomes Lacson, Sotto change of stand on death penalty

Published November 7, 2021, 2:13 PM

by Analou de Vera

Prison cell

The Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines- Episcopal Commission on Prison Pastoral Care (CBCP-ECPPC) welcomed the recent pronouncement of Senators Panfilo Lacson and Vicente Sotto III that they are no longer supporting the restoration of death penalty.

The CBCP said that this stand of Lacson and Sotto, who are running for president and vice president, respectively in the 2022 elections, will help in its pro-life advocacy.

“Coming from two prominent and veteran legislators, this will boost the Church’s advocacy against any moves to reintroduce capital punishment in our statute books,” said CBCP-ECPPC Chairman Bishop Joel Baylon in a statement.

“We maintain that it is not the severity of punishment, but the certainty that a person who commits a crime will be held accountable for his acts and omissions, is what will deter crime,” he added.

Baylon also said that “capital punishment is not and will never be a solution to crime.”

“It is punitive and disregards the dignity which is inherent in every human person,” he said.

“A reform-based corrections program and sanctions which promote rehabilitation and accept that every human being has the capacity to reform no matter how heinous his or her crime, is to our mind what true justice should be,” he added.

On Nov. 4, Lacson said that he and Sotto will no longer support the death penalty.

“It is more important to save the life of a wrongly convicted person. That said, I will withdraw the bill I filed on death penalty,” said Lacson in a statement.

Lacson said that a movie titled “The Life of David Gale” was one of the reasons for his change of view.

He said that he is supporting Sotto’s suggestion to “confine drug lords in a ‘super max’ penitentiary, with no means of communication with the outside world.”

“Senate President Sotto’s suggestion is very good. Let the convicts be imprisoned for life, nothing to do but to regret their crimes for the rest of their lives,” he said.