Task Force Detainees of the Philippines’ position on the proposed restoration of death penalty
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Thursday, 02 June 2016 18:05

Task Force Detainees of the Philippines (TFDP) reiterates its strong opposition to the planned restoration of death penalty with the following reasons:

1.    Death Penalty does not eliminate crime

When death penalty was implemented in 1994 crimes punishable by death persisted. As long as justice system fails to render fair and effective prosecution, occurrence of crime will continue and death penalty will not be a deterrent.  

Scientific research failed to prove that death penalty deters crime and has any significant impact on the incidence of crime.

2.    Implementation of death penalty law bears several flaws

The study conducted in 2001 – 2002 by the Free Legal Assistance Group (FLAG) shows that 2/3 of death row inmates are poor and those who cannot afford to pay a legal counsel. They relied on the free legal services offered by the government. Thus, death penalty will be biased against the poor.

And because torture still persists even with RA9745 or the Anti-Torture Law, there will always be great possibility of suspects being forced and compelled to admit the crime.

Based from the review of death penalty cases from 1995 to 1999 conducted by the Supreme Court, they admitted that two out of three death sentences were erroneous and since death penalty is irreparable, the sanctions deprives the offender to improve and do good in the society.

3.    Death penalty is a violation of person’s right to life

Death penalty is a violation of a person’s right to life which is non-derogable, that is, they cannot be suspended even in a state of emergency.  Article 4(2) of the

International Covenant on Civil Political Rights (ICCPR) provides that no derogation to right to life is permitted.

Philippines is signatory to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) and has ratified ICCPR and is obliged to respect, protect and fulfill human rights.

4.    Lastly, President-elect Rodrigo Duterte has rightly recognized that political prisoners and detainees are not criminals since they acted in pursuit of their political beliefs. TFDP documented 340 political prisoners and detainees nationwide, mostly are wrongfully accused, illegally arrested and are facing false charges of heinous crimes that if death penalty will be restored are punishable under it.

An example is the case of Marites Dela Cruz Marquez and Rosario Marquez Loreto, two Agta women and both from General Nakar in Quezon Province, who were illegally arrested on September 26, 2014 at Barangay Sta. Ines, Tanay, Rizal Province.

The two Agta women are wrongly charged with the kidnapping of a retired military official allegedly committed by the New People’s Army. On the basis of their traditional necklace allegedly worn by the NPAs, the two women were arrested and continue to languish in jail.  

Executive Director
June 02, 2016

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Last Updated on Thursday, 02 June 2016 18:06

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