Bacolod priest: ‘Intense prayer’ sought vs death penalty

A PRIEST from the Diocese of Bacolod is enjoining the faithful to pray harder as members of the House of Representatives is expected to vote on the death penalty bill on third and final reading today.

Fr. Felix Pasquin, rector of San Sebastian Cathedral, said they are asking for “more intense prayer.”

“Let’s pray for the legislators to pursue their conscience so conscience vote will prevail,” he said.

Pasquin had earlier said the revival of the capital punishment might bring dire consequences to the nation.

The Diocese had earlier mounted an anti-death penalty tarpaulin at the entrance of San Sebastian Cathedral.

The message on the banner read: “Death Penalty? No, no, no sa Berdugo! Yes, yes, yes sa kay Kristo.” A berdugo is an executioner or a hangman.

Last week, the House of Representatives approved on second reading the proposed measure to impose death penalty on drug-related offenses through viva voce voting or a vote of “ayes” and “nays.”

Under House Bill 4727, there is no mandatory death sentence as it is up to judge’s discretion to sentence the perpetrators of drug cases with life imprisonment or death.

Drug-related cases punishable with death or life sentence are: importation of dangerous drugs; sale, trading, administration, dispensation, delivery, distribution and transportation of dangerous drugs; maintenance of a den, dive or resort; manufacture of dangerous drugs and/or controlled precursors and essential chemicals; misappropriation, misapplication or failure to account for confiscated, seized or surrendered dangerous drugs; planting of evidence.

Those who are convicted for possession of illegal drugs, on the other hand, will be sentenced to life imprisonment.

Children below 18 years old or senior citizens over 70 years of age at the time of the commission of the crime will not be sentenced with death penalty.

The mode of capital punishment could either be through hanging, firing squad, or lethal injection.
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