Church holds forum on death penalty

THE Archdiocese of Cagayan de Oro on Friday, August 26, led a forum to discuss the implications of the possible revival of the death penalty for heinous crimes.

Carl Cababaran, Social Action Center coordinator the Archdiocese, said Friday's dialogue was aimed at helping the public discern the issues associated with the reinstatement of capital punishment in the country.

"Kini dili pa kini panagtigom sa pro or against but tigom kini sa tanan aron matagaan kita ug giya, regardless kung pro or anti kita, aron mabalance nato kung unsa gyud atong stand," Cababaran said.

Commission Human Rights officer Vic Aleria, one of the speakers, discussed the different versions of bills filed before the Senate and Congress concerning the revival of the death penalty and also shared his personal views.

"Personally, I believe each person has a redeeming quality. No matter unsa ka-grabe imong kinabuhi diha, unsa ka bad sa imong kinabuhi but I believe people can change," Aleria said.

Aleria cited Alex Bartolome, a resident of Barangay Patag, the last person to experience death by electrocution, whom he said lost his chance to change.

"Ang death penalty ang nakapugong sa iyang pag-usab. But he has not able to have that chance. Wala ta kabalo gayud because patay naman siya," he said.

In 1998, the Supreme Court ruled that Bartolome should be penalized with death for raping his own daughter.

But Cababaran reminds the public that the dialogue is not meant to divide the people.

"Dili mi makaingon nga moresulta kini sa pagbahin-bahin na dayon, ang purpose lang ingani is pagpukaw sa huna-huna, pagbati, konsensya sa tao kung unsa ba gayud diay kining death penalty," he furthered.

He said although the Church's stand remained that it is against death penalty, it should also provide a venue for people to think.

"Wala sa among huna-huna nga mag-presuade or mag-invite kta nga pro dapat or against ang bottomline is out from the discussion, sila na mismo magdecide kung unsa ilang stand. Lahi-lahipud nga versions sa bill so we will have to study it," he said.

"Klaro man ang simbahan nga anti gyud pero usa pud ni nga pamaagi nga ma-project sa katawhan ang imahe sa simbahan nga dili lang tong kanunay tong gaingon nga against kami period, kundili pwede muingon kita nga against mi pero naa diay alternatibo, against mi pero naa diay lain nga pamaagi," Cababaran said.

The Church plans to conduct a series of dialogues concerning social issues in the next months.
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