Revival of death penalty might doom 88 OFWs facing death penalty – Rep. Atienza

  • Reimposition of death penalty might doom OFWs facing death penalty abroad, said Congressman Lito Atienza
  • Atienza: If we ourselves are killing our convicts here, it would be extremely problematic for us to plead to other govenments
  • Senator Angara said that Duterte is serious about bringing death penalty back

The Philippines’ effort to save the lives of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) facing death rows abroad will effectively be counteracted once the capital punishment for the death penalty will be restored; warned Buhay Rep. Lito Atienza on Sunday.

“One of the many ramifications (of the return of the death penalty) is that the Philippine government would be deprived of the moral high ground when it comes to our official appeals for clemency – for foreign governments to spare the lives of our citizens who are facing execution,” he said as published by InterAksyon.

According to Atienza, reinstating the “cruel and inhuman punishment” would be a problem for the Philippines’ plea with other countries for compassion “if we ourselves are killing own convicts here — if we ourselves do not respect the value of human life.”

The congressman also said that eight of the top 10 foreign destinations are “on record” of implementing the “capital punishment and aggressively carrying out executions.”

According to the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), there are 88 Filipinos facing death penalty; most of which are in Malaysia and China.

Among them is Mary Jane Veloso who obtained a last-minute reprieve; thanks to former Vice President Jejomar Binay, now Senator Manny Pacquiao and the Aquino administration.

Veloso, on the midnight of April 29, 2015, was already set to be executed but was saved after the government asked Indonesia to make her as a witness against her alleged human trafficker in a Philippine criminal case. The alleged human trafficker [purportedly] put the 2.6 kilos of heroin into her luggage and, the PNP is looking for a possibility that she is a victim of the West African drug syndicate.

As also mentioned by Atienza, eight of the top 10 foreign destinations are imposing death penalty.

His statement was confirmed by records from Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA); Saudia Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Singapore, Qatar, Kuwait, Taiwan, Malaysia, and Bahrain are the eight OFW-rich destinations with death penalty; Canada and Hongkong are the two remaining who has already abolished the capital punishment.

Death penalty was implemented in the Philippines 10 years ago but was abolished by the congress in 2006.

Now, Rodrigo Duterte is pushing for the re-imposition of death penalty in the country ‘by hanging’ and even noted it as a priority measure once the Congress convenes on July 25.

According to Senator Juan Edgardo Angara as written in an article published by The Standard (PH), this is Duterte’s counter measure against government officials who must be protecting the people from illegal drugs yet they are the ones causing its rampant spread in the country.

He added, “he’s very serious about it [the death penalty]. He believes it should be brought back.”