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PHILIPPINES: House of representatives urged against reinstating the death penalty

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death_penalty.jpgFORUM-ASIA has expressed its deep concern over the attempts in the Philippines Congress to reinstate the death penalty in the country through House Bill 4882 (HB04882) filed by Congressman Bienvenido M. Abante (6th District, Manila).

In a letter to the Committee on the Revision of Laws of the Philippines' House of Representatives, FORUM-ASIA, argued that the death penalty would be in direct violation of the Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR-OP2), which aims at the abolition of the death penalty.

The Philippines is a State Party of the ICCPR-OP2 since 20 September 2006. Article 1 of ICCPR-OP2 specifically provides that "no one within the jurisdiction of a State Party to the present Protocol shall be executed" and that States Parties should "take all necessary measures to abolish the death penalty within its jurisdiction".

FORUM-ASIA reminded the Congress that the Philippines was among the 104 countries in the United Nations General Assembly that voted for the resolution calling for a global moratorium on the death penalty (A/RED/62/149).

The UN General Assembly resolution on the global moratorium on the death penalty specifically state that "there is no conclusive evidence of the deterrent value of the death penalty and that any miscarriage or failure of justice in the implementation of the death penalty is irreversible and irreparable".

According to Mr. Yap Swee Seng, Acting Executive Director of FORUM-ASIA, "The Philippines has made an international commitment to lead the trend towards the abolition of the death penalty in the Asian region. Any attempt to revive such practice would only cause a setback to the development of democracy and human rights in the Philippines."

Please read the letter to the Philippines Congress HERE.