Restore the death penalty! By hanging!

boholano-thumbPresident-elect Rodrigo Roa Duterte was quoted saying: “I would plead to Congress to restore the death penalty. By hanging!

“(For) heinous crimes, crimes committed with unlicensed firearms must be death. Rape plus death of the victim must be death penalty. Kidnapping with ransom and murder, death penalty. (For) robbery with homicide with rape, double the hanging. After you are hanged first, there will be another ceremony…until the head is completely severed from the body. I would like that because I am mad. BizNews Asia, June 30, 2016. Vol. 13. No. 50.

In our Constitution, Article III. Bill of Rights. Section 19 provides: (1) Excessive fines shall not be imposed, nor cruel, degrading or inhuman punishment inflicted. Neither shall death penalty be imposed, unless, for compelling reasons involving heinous crimes, the Congress hereafter provides for it. Any death penalty already imposed shall be reduced to reclusion perpetua [life imprisonment].


President Corazon C. Aquino certified as urgent a bill proposing death as punishment for rebellion after the bloody coup in 1989. A new death penalty law, Republic Act 7659, was imposed by President Fidel V. Ramos on December 31, 1993.

In his shortened term President Joseph Estrada ordered the deaths of seven men. On March 24, 2000, he declared “a moratorium” on executions to celebrate the 2,000th birthday of Jesus Christ.


President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo extended this moratorium. On April 15, 2006 she commuted to life imprisonment the capital penalty imposed on all death row inmates, which had at that time ballooned to a staggering 1,230.

Finally, on June 24, 2006, Republic Act 9346 abolished the death penalty. This was the day before she left for the Vatican for a meeting with Pope Benedict XVI.

PDI columnist Artemio V. Panganiban concluded: “Death penalty, wrong solution. The solution to criminality is the speedy investigation, prosecution and conviction of the offender, not death.”

I would add the participation in our Movement for a Nonkilling Philippines: Kalinaw at Walang Pagpatay!

In 2011, I published our book: Let’s Build a Nonkilling Philippines! Tungo sa Kalinaw at Walang Pagpatay! And Help Build a Killing-Free World. For the Movement for a Nonkilling Philippines, and the Institute for a Nonkilling Philippines, Kalayaan College.

We have very much to see what happens if President Rodrigo Duterte will have his way: “Restore the death penalty, by hanging.”   

My sources include: our 1987 Constitution: Mark Alegre. “Death penalty, reinstate it.” April 6, 2011. Patricia Evangelista, “Method to Madness. The Executioners.” Philippine Daily Inquirer, April 10, 2011. Artemio V. Panganiban. “Death penalty, wrong solution.” With Due Respect.” Philippine Daily Inquirer. February 5, 2011.

BizNews Asia, June 30, 2016. Vol. 13. No. 50. (By Jose “Pepe” Abueva)

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