It is a big pity and a big shame as well that no less than in the Philippines these days, the matter of who lives or who dies, who retains the right to life or who should be killed, has become but a political matter. Death to the criminals shout those as if they are saints. Kill the criminals is the song of those as if they are holy. It is interesting to see if those presently in tenure of political power would eventually undergo the death penalty – if those now in possession of wealth and influence – would be ultimately sentenced to death penalty themselves. The truth of the matter is that criminals themselves could readily decide whom to kill among the now reigning politicians, viz., whom to sentence to death penalty.
So it is that even certain local and international Organizations endowed with sanity or gifted with the use of reason and still in possession of the right and proper value system are looking at the Philippines with pity and awe as if the Country has returned to the Dark Ages – to those times when might was right, when killing and not saving lives was the rule. So it is that not a few locals as well as foreigners from distant Nations are wondering what gross misdeeds have the Filipinos done to deserve political leaders so much preoccupied with killing people instead of defending and enhancing their lives, improving and raising their standard of living. Have the political leaders of the Filipinos become their shame instead of their pride, their curse instead of their blessing?
Recently, in an official Statement dated 30 January 2017, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference itself expressly, clearly and categorically stated the following: “Throughout the world, the trend against the death penalty is unmistakable, and international Covenant, one of which the Philippines is a party to, obligate the Country not to impose the death penalty.” Who can really say that the Philippines is going forward in its respect for human rights, the very first of which is the Right to Life? Who could really claim that the Country is still part of the civilized world? Who dares affirm that the Filipinos are now seeing human development in their own Nation such as precisely in terms of deference towards human life?
So it is that it is not enough that there is the Red Party that is still the cause of downright killings here and there, every now and then. Neither is it enough that there are these and those well-armed and deadly groups particularly in Mindanao that are identified with killing – even beheading – people. it is neither even enough that there were already – and still counting – thousands of individuals killed on the occasion of the prohibited drug phenomenon. There is even now the apparently forthcoming Death Penalty Law being assiduously prepared by no less than supposedly educated and wise legislators in the Land. To say that this is an overstatement is for those who neither really think nor feel.
So it is that it bears asking – again and again: Is the State the giver of even but one human life that it dares take any life away? Is there any legislator who gave life to anyone yet dares to take it away there from? Is the Justice System in the Philippines equally just to the rich and the poor, the powerful and helpless, such that even the mighty and the wealthy could be subject to Death Penalty?
Philippines my Philippines – where art thou going?