Philippine prelate warns legislators on death penalty
Bishop Arturo Bastes of Sorsogon brands move to reintroduce capital punishment a 'retrogression to the Dark Ages'
A Catholic bishop has warned legislators not to be hasty in passing a law that aims to reimpose capital punishment in the Philippines.
Bishop Arturo Bastes of Sorsogon described the move in the Philippine Congress as being in "defiance of the church's teaching and the civilized world."
"It is a retrogression to the Dark Ages," said the prelate in an interview on church-run Radio Veritas on Nov. 30.
He said that contrary to the belief of some legislators, the death penalty is not a deterrent to crime. "They are mistaken. It has been proven scientifically that it is not so," said Bishop Bastes.
"They believe wrongly that human beings have a right to kill fellow human beings," he said.
The subcommittee on judicial reforms at the House of Representatives approved on Nov. 29 a bill that seeks to impose death penalty on those convicted of heinous crimes.
Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez said he expects the bill to become law before Congress goes on a holiday break in December.
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