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Poor need not fear death penalty

/ 12:10 AM May 12, 2017

“Thankfully, God demonstrates His love for us in not condemning us.”—Romans 5:8

If we did not create a bloodthirsty society that glorifies violence, the death penalty wouldn’t have been a lengthy debate. As it is, rather than addressing the root-causes of the drug problem in our country, popular opinion has opted for a quick solution—kill them all.

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Taking a person’s life has been justified since time immemorial—as a proactive defense, in an “either you die or I die” scenario. The Philippines used to have death penalty for capital crimes like murder, rape and treason. After martial law, it was prohibited, then reinstated during the time of President Ramos and suspended during the Arroyo administration.

None of the administrations that supported capital punishment was able to solve the crime rate concerns. None of the administrations was able to provide real structural changes that gave the people economic options.

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But what about the rich drug lords? Can we describe them as people desperate to put food on their tables? No, but they are preying on the desperate. They are using the poor as mules, petty dealers, promising them relief from their daily problems about income. Well, maybe, the poor need not worry about the death penalty; after all, they are already being subjected to extrajudicial killings.

Kill all. This has been the solution of the administration to all its problems. Instead of rebuking the evil structures that promote misdeeds, instead of going to the root-causes of all the conflicts and crimes in the country—e.g., the lack of fair and stable income, a dysfunctional justice system—instead of rehabilitating drug users (among several other alternative actions that legislators could have focused on), it has chosen to react violently.

And the warlords in Congress are happy. Instead of getting their backyards cleaned, they are given wider impunity to kill. And society is glorifying them.

AILENE VILLAROSA,
advocacy officer,
Rural Missionaries of the Philippines-Northern Mindanao Sub-Region Inc.,
[email protected]

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TAGS: death penalty, drug problem, extrajudicial killings, Poor
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