‘Death penalty punishes families’

FORMER Supreme Court chief justice Hilario Davide Jr. believes that the reimposition of death penalty will destroy families.

Davide made the statement after the House of Representatives approved the death penalty bill early this month.

Davide told SunStar Cebu that the reimposition of the death penalty will create a lasting negative effect on the lives of the affected families.

“You will not only punish the criminal, but also the members of his or her family. They will have the stigma of having a father or mother who was executed. You will be branded as a family of criminals,” he said.

Davide, who opposed the death penalty even before the establishment of the 1987 Constitution, also said that the government cannot back down on its international commitments.

He said the country is one of the signatories of the United Nations Charter, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

He also said that the bill, which only covers crimes related to drugs, will only back the notion that the country is behind the killing of drug personalities.

But Davide believes the Senate will thoroughly discuss the death penalty bill’s merits before approving it.

Retired Cebu Archbishop Ricardo Cardinal Vidal, for his part, said that he was disappointed with the Cebu legislators who voted for the bill.
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