Thursday, January 19, 2017

On Death Penalty: viewpoints of the Philippine Constitution, the Bible, the Catholic Church, and the United Nations.

Manny Pacquiao on death penalty:

(1) “God allows governments to use capital punishment. Even Jesus Christ was sentenced to death because the government imposed the rule then.”

(2) “Ano ba basis mo to oppose? Because of your religious beliefs or because of the Constitution? Siguro naman the Constitution allows death penalty for heinous crimes."

(3) "And then sa Panginoon, biblically, binibigyan ng Panginoon ng karapatan ang government to use capital punishment. Even Jesus Christ nga nasentensyahan nang kamatayan dahil ang government nag-impose talaga ng kamatayan."

(4) "You are not a good leader if you are making decisions with your own conscience.”

(5) "Bible says, 'Thou shall not kill.' We are not talking individuals here, meaning kung nagkasala ka sa 'kin, 'di puwede ilagay batas sa akin na patayin kita.”


(a) Excessive fines shall not be imposed, NOR CRUEL, DEGRADING OR INHUMAN PUNISHMENT BE INFLICTED. 




(a) The OLD TESTAMENT prescribed the death penalty for an extensive list of crimes including (

· Murder (Exodus 21:12-14; Leviticus 24:17,21)
· Attacking or cursing a parent (Exodus 21:15,17)
· Disobedience to parents (Deuteronomy 21:18-21)
· Kidnapping (Exodus 21:16)
· Failure to confine a dangerous animal, resulting in death (Exodus 21:28-29)
· Witchcraft and sorcery (Exodus 22:18, Leviticus 20:27, Deuteronomy 13:5, 1 Samuel 28:9)
· Human sacrifice (Leviticus 20:2-5)
· Sex with an animal (Exodus 22:19, Leviticus 20:16)
· Doing work on the Sabbath (Exodus 31:14, 35:2, Numbers 15:32-36)
· Incest (Leviticus 18:6-18, 20:11-12,14,17,19-21)
· Adultery (Leviticus 20:10; Deuteronomy 22:22)
· Homosexual acts (Leviticus 20:13)
· Prostitution by a priest's daughter (Leviticus 21:9)
· Blasphemy (Leviticus 24:14,16, 23)
· False prophecy (Deuteronomy 18:20)
· Perjury in capital cases (Deuteronomy 19:16-19)
· Refusing to obey a decision of a judge or priest (Deuteronomy 17:12)
· False claim of a woman's virginity at time of marriage (Deuteronomy 22:13-21)
· Sex between a woman pledged to be married and a man other than her betrothed (Deuteronomy 22:23-24).


“The Old Testament ideas of punishment became secondary to Jesus' message of LOVE AND REDEMPTION. Both reward and punishment are seen as properly taking place in eternity, rather than in this life.

LOVE is the principle that must guide all our actions (Matthew 5:43-48, Mark 12:28-34, Luke 10:25-28, Romans 13:9-10, Galatians 5:14). Christians are bound by Jesus' commands to "Love the Lord your God" and "Love your neighbor as yourself" (Matthew 22:34-40). WE ARE NO LONGER BOUND BY THE HARSH OLD TESTAMENT LAW (John 1:16-17, Romans 8:1-3, 1 Corinthians 9:20-21).

JESUS FLATLY REJECTED THE OLD TESTAMENT PRINCIPLE OF TAKING EQUAL REVENGE FOR A WRONG DONE. (Matthew 5:38-41, Luke 9:52-56). He also said that we are all sinners and do not have the right to pass judgment on one another (Matthew 7:1-5). In the case of a woman caught in adultery (a capital offense), Jesus said to those who wanted to stone her to death,

"Let anyone among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her." And once again he bent down and wrote on the ground. When they heard it, they went away, one by one, beginning with the elders; and Jesus was left alone with the woman standing before him. Jesus straightened up and said to her, "Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?" She said, "No one, sir." And Jesus said, "NEITHER DO I CONDEMN YOU. GO YOUR WAY, AND FROM NOW ON DO NOT SIN AGAIN." (NRSV, John 8:7-11)

The apostle Paul also warned against taking revenge for a wrong done (Romans 12:17-21, 1 Thessalonians 5:15). Likewise, the apostle Peter warned us NOT TO REPAY EVIL WITH EVIL (1 Peter 3:9).” (Id.).


2267. Assuming that the guilty party's identity and responsibility have been fully determined, the traditional teaching of the Church does not exclude recourse to the death penalty, if this is the only possible way of effectively defending human lives against the unjust aggressor.

If, however, non-lethal means are sufficient to defend and protect people's safety from the aggressor, authority will limit itself to such means, as these are more in keeping with the concrete conditions of the common good and more in conformity with the dignity of the human person.

Today, in fact, as a consequence of the possibilities which the state has for effectively preventing crime, by rendering one who has committed an offense incapable of doing harm-without definitively taking away from him the possibility of redeeming himself-the cases in which the execution of the offender is an absolute necessity "are very rare, if not practically non-existent."

From Catechism of the Catholic Church, second edition, copyright © 1997, United States Catholic Conference, Inc.,” (Id.)


“x x x.

SECOND OPTIONAL PROTOCOL TO THE INTERNATIONAL COVENANT ON CIVIL AND POLITICAL RIGHTS. - Adopted and proclaimed by General Assembly resolution 44/128 of 15 December 1989. 

(Note: The Philippines is a signatory to the Covenant and the Second Optional Protocol).

"X x x.

Believing that abolition of the death penalty contributes to enhancement of human dignity and progressive development of human rights,

Recalling article 3 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted on 10 December 1948, and article 6 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, adopted on 16 December 1966,

Noting that article 6 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights refers to abolition of the death penalty in terms that strongly suggest that abolition is desirable,

Convinced that all measures of abolition of the death penalty should be considered as progress in the enjoyment of the right to life,

Desirous to undertake hereby an international commitment to abolish the death penalty,

X x x . 

Article 1

1. No one within the jurisdiction of a State Party to the present Protocol shall be executed.

2. Each State Party shall take all necessary measures to abolish the death penalty within its jurisdiction.

Article 2

1. No reservation is admissible to the present Protocol, except for a reservation made at the time of ratification or accession that provides for the application of the death penalty in time of war pursuant to a conviction for a most serious crime of a military nature committed during wartime.

2. The State Party making such a reservation shall at the time of ratification or accession communicate to the Secretary-General of the United Nations the relevant provisions of its national legislation applicable during wartime.

3. The State Party having made such a reservation shall notify the Secretary-General of the United Nations of any beginning or ending of a state of war applicable to its territory.

Article 3

The States Parties to the present Protocol shall include in the reports they submit to the Human Rights Committee, in accordance with article 40 of the Covenant, information on the measures that they have adopted to give effect to the present Protocol.

X x x.

(See -