Indonesian penitentiary death row prisoner Mary Jane Veloso and 87 other similarly situated Filipino overseas workers will be deprived of a chance of absolution as soon as the capital punishment is restored in the country.
Pro-life Rep. Lito Atienza issued this warning as he stressed that the Philippine government’s efforts to save the lives of OFW languishing in death prisons overseas will effectively be counteracted by the death penalty bill being pushed by the Duterte government.
“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,” said Atienza who represents Buhay party-list which is pushing for a pro-life legislative agenda.
Backed by the huge El Shaddai Catholic Charismatic group, Buhay has been leading party-list polls in nearly two decades now, partly because of its hardline pro-life stance.
“Should Congress reinstate the cruel and inhuman punishment, it would be extremely problematic for us to plead with other governments for compassion, if we ourselves are killing own convicts here – if we ourselves do not respect the value of human life,” Atienza said. (Ben R. Rosario)