May 19, 2017

We, the members of The Silent Majority – Cebu (TSM-Cebu), oppose the return of the death penalty in the Philippines. The Duterte administration, not content with its inaction over the summary executions of suspected illegal drug personalities, would now like to legalize murder by State agents by attempting to revive the death penalty law in the country. We appeal to our legislators to block the passage of this barbaric law. Its passage is the death of the dignity of the Filipino, accuser and accused alike. Certainly, we are better than this.

For an administration which had made eradication of crime within six (6) months from assumption of office its campaign platform, it is unfortunate that a disproven deterrent against crime is being touted as a tool “to  reinvigorate the war against criminality”.

For an administration which has most of its support coming from the poorer sectors of Philippine society, bringing back a reprehensible, inhumane penalty which is inflicted disproportionately on those poorer sectors could not be anything but ungratefulness.

For an administration which has been unable to put a stop to the summary killings of thousands of persons who had not been convicted in a court of law, passing a law which will allow the killing of persons convicted in a court of law will not assuage the suspicions that the administration is behind the summary executions in our streets and in the slums.

For an administration which had not even made a strong statement to the People’s Republic of China regarding the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea ruling on China’s “nine-dash line” claim, the Duterte’s administration to forgo the Republic of the Philippines’ obligations under the Second Optional Protocol does not inspire much confidence.

The Duterte administration had, time and time again, insulted the dignity of the Filipino people by not putting up measures to stop the wave of killings that had happened since it assumed office. It should not finally kill that dignity of the Filipino, enshrined in no less than our Constitution, by legalizing murder by State agents, no matter how the process went through the defective Philippine justice system. The death penalty must remain stricken off our statute books: the death penalty is the death of the dignity of the Filipino.