Catholic school condemns House for passing death penalty bill

SAN SIMON -- An Assumption school from this town denounced Wednesday the passage of the controversial death penalty bill by the House of Representatives on its third and final reading.

The Assumpta Technical High School, a Catholic educational institution, expressed its strong opposition against the capital punishment through a noise barrage tagged as #NoiseForLife.

According to ATHS' Assistant Director for Pastoral Affairs Chit Manlapaz, the community, represented by around 200 Grade 11 students and 108 faculty and school personnel banged different noise-making tools and utensils for 15 minutes in front of school chapel at exactly 12:00 noon.

Manlapaz said that the activity aims to show that the ATHS, and the whole Assumption congregation, is one with the Catholic Church in promoting life which is now countered with the imposition of the death penalty.

“Our decision to oppose the death penalty bill and favor life as a Catholic school is a faith-driven decision which was brought to prayer and consultation in the circles of discernment,” she explained.

Manlapaz asserted that the passage of the capital punishment will once again deprive Filipino people of their chance to change and renew themselves and put the lives of poor who were accused or set-up of a crime they did not commit in jeopardy.

“As Catholics, we are pro-life and pro-God. And as pro-God, we must believe in goodness of each person, that even if we fail and fall several times, we still have a God who will help us stand and change our lives for the better,” she noted.

Aside from the #NoiseForLife, Manlapaz said the school community also engaged in different activities showcasing opposition to the death penalty bill such as manifesto signing, participation in the Catholic’s church Walk for Life and posting of tarpaulins around the campus.

Meanwhile, ATHS also denounced the decision of lawmakers in the province to favor the re-imposition of death penalty which led to its passage in the lower house.

Of the four solons representing the congressional districts of Pampanga, three, including fourth district’s Juan Pablo “Rimpy” Bondoc said “yes.” It was only former President now Second District Representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo who opposed it.

“As public officials representing the people, we hoped that they did not vote based on their own conviction alone but looked at the wider perspective of their constituents and spoke based on it,” she stressed.

Manlapaz added that the Walk for Life staged by Kapampangan faithful recently, which she described as a powerful expression of the province’s opposition to the bill, did not reflect the lawmakers' actions.

She stressed that the ATHS community will remain vigilant as the bill will be passed on the hands of the Senate.

“We will continue our actions to show opposition against its passage and we’re still hopeful that somehow, our elected officials will understand the value of life,” she said.

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