CAGAYAN de Oro City Archdiocese Vicar-General Rey Monsanto said the Church is disappointed after two representatives of the city voted for the re-imposition of the death penalty.
Monsanto said instead of passing the bill immediately, legislators should have been more concerned in fixing the judicial system of the country and urged government officials to look into the worsening situation inside jail facilities.
“Our jails need to prove its essence that these are built really for reform, because as what we have observed now, it's the other way around, the inmates become more hardened criminals,” he said.
Asked if the Church is open to talks with the congressmen to listen to their side, Monsanto said, “What for? When they already voted for it?”
“Sa simbahan gyud, wala man gyud ginaingon nga absolute gyud ta No to death penalty, kay sa cathecism gani naga-ingon nga maayo unta ug wala na gyud, pero kung wala na gyuy lain mahimo ang gobyerno kay there is already clear and present danger sa sitwasyon, it could be a choice (The Church believes that death penalty should only be a choice if the government has exhausted everything to solve the problem),” he said.
Second District Representative Maximo Rodriguez Jr., along with First District Representative Rolando Uy, voted yes to the death penalty bill, as did First District Representative of Misamis Oriental Juliet Uy and Second District Representative Peter Unabia.
A noise barrage and rally was staged by students and faculty of the Xavier University Wednesday afternoon, March 8, to protest the “railroading” of bill's passage.
“Nagtuo mi nga kung solbaron ang krimen, dili pinaagi sa pagpatay, icondemn na gani nimo ang killing, pero ang measure pud for punishment is ang pagpatay pud (We believe that if we really want to solve the crime, it should not be through another kill),” Nestor Banuag, Xavier University advocacy coordinator said.
Banuag clarified even though they are against the bill, it doesn’t mean they are pro-criminals. He said they are against it because it is against their pro-life teachings.
He said the government should look at the problem holistically to find sustainable solutions.
Rodriguez on Wednesday explained why he voted for the re-imposition of the death penalty bill.
In an interview, Rodriguez said the proliferation of illegal drugs in the country is enough of a “compelling reason” to vote for its resumption.
Rodriguez said he believes death penalty is enough to scare drug dealers and stop their involvement in the illegal drugs.
“Pila na ka bulan si President Duterte wala pa nahuman ang kampanya sa illegal nga droga, sige ka extend, so it’s about time. Kung ang President naghimo sa iyang part, kita sad as legislators, himoon pud nato atong part by supporting this move (The President has been in the office for several months now and the illegal drugs campaign is always extended, so it's about time. If our President has done its part, we as legislators, will also do our part by supporting this move),” Rodriguez said.
Rodriguez said the public need not to worry since the campaign is not against the people, but for pro-people.
He also clarified he has conducted consultations in the barangays, noting that majority of the people agrees with the reimposition of the bill.
“Dili lang sila mabalaka kay kining pagbalik sa death penalty isa kini nga suporta nato sa kampanya ni President Duterte, ang gobyerno sad, maghatag ug assistance sa mga posibleng mahimong maapil sa mga accused sa heinous crimes, sigurohon gyud nato nga walay miscarriage of justice (They should not be worried because we only supported President Duterte, and the government will also assist those who will be accused of heinous crime, and we will ensure that there will be no miscarriage of justice),” he said.