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Solons told: Make conscience vote on death penalty

Solons told: Make conscience vote on death penalty

MANILA, Feb. 9, 2017— A Catholic prison ministry official called on lawmakers not to be swayed by political pressures and vote on the death penalty bill according to their conscience.

Rodolfo Diamante, executive secretary of the bishops’ Commission on Prison Pastoral Care, said they are hoping legislators will follow their conscience in voting against “the taking away of the life of the person.”

“They should not sacrifice their principles in measure that will only satisfy the ego of the present leaders in the house,’ he said.

Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez yesterday said members of the ruling party who are against the death penalty must resign.

He also warned those in the House leadership that they risk being ousted from their posts as deputy leaders and committee heads if they oppose the proposed measure.

Diamante also called on the House leadership not to railroad the passage of the bill and to allow more discussions on capital punishment.

“It is not worth it to pass a law that will not really serve justice to people concerned,” he said.

The Catholic Church strongly opposes moves in Congress to reinstate the death penalty in the country.

The proposed bill seeks the death penalty for several crimes categorized as “heinous”, including some forms of murder, rape, and drug offenses.

Plunder was originally included among the crimes punishable by death, but the lawmakers in the majority bloc reportedly agreed to remove it from the list. CBCPNews