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CBCP president: Death penalty ‘lazy’ solution to crime | News | GMA News Online

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CBCP president: Death penalty ‘lazy’ solution to crime
Published December 14, 2016 8:37am

Reinstating death penalty instead of fixing the criminal justice system is a “lazy” solution to curb criminality in the country, a Catholic Church leader said.

"Cleanse the police ranks! Fix all the courts! Tighten (the security) at the [New] Bilibid [Prison] and other prisons. Death penalty is a lazy form of penalty instead of helping reform those who made mistakes," Archbishop Socrates Villegas of Lingayen, Dagupan was quoted as saying in a CBCP News report.

Villegas, president of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines, said overhauling the justice system is more workable than reimposing the death penalty.

He added that death penalty, in a weak justice system, will make the poor suffer ever more, while the rich and powerful will most likely get away with crimes.

"If there's death penalty but the criminal justice system is corrupt, slow and one-sided, rapist and plunderer, and pusher and killer will remain confident (to commit crime). It's business as usual," he said.

But opposing death penalty, Villegas said, does not make the Church soft on crimes.

"The solution is not killing criminals. Our alternative is fullness of life for the guilty and the innocent. Fullness of life for the poor and the rich. Fullness of life for sinners and saints," Villegas added.

The House justice committee on Wednesday approved its report on a substitute bill seeking to reimpose the death penalty as punishment for heinous crimes.

Among the panel members, 12 voted to approve the report, six voted against it, and one abstained.

Following this, the Archdiocese of Manila issued a prayer to urge its clergy and the faithful to pray against the revival of death penalty.

Fr. Reginald Malicdem, rector of the Manila Cathedral, asked all clergymen and women superiors of religious communities, and heads of schools in the archdiocese to say the "Prayer Against Death Penalty" starting December 11 and through the Christmas Season. —Erwin Colcol/ALG, GMA News

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