Justice not served through death penalty
We would like to ask you to take a moment and imagine this: sweaty hands and staggering knees, and a clammy, overwhelming fear.
The clock is slowly ticking, similar to a heart monitor counting a person’s dwindling heartbeat. A powerful voice echoes throughout the room: “I hereby sentence you to death.” Silence fills the air. At that moment, injustice is delivered under the guise of justice.
If there’s anything that ignites the fire of violence, it is violence itself. And our government appears bent on fueling this destructive cycle, intensifying the harmful flame of death with its push to reinstate the death penalty.
As part of the country’s youth, we are disheartened to see our President neglect the rights of fellow Filipinos and taint our country with the blood of its citizens, when his primary duty as our leader is to protect us.
We, Catholic Filipino Youth, strongly plead against the reimposition of the death penalty in our country. Envision a world where violence serves as a blanket that swathes everything in darkness — this will become the norm for us Filipinos once we are under a death penalty regime. We will fall victim to injustice, robbed of our humanity, once we are subjected to such remorseless treatment.
A more appropriate solution in place of the death penalty would be to enforce and strengthen rehabilitation efforts. We strongly believe in condemning the crime, but for the perpetrator’s life and dignity to be protected. We must never fight fire with fire, for it will lead to a remorseless cycle of desensitization to violence and bloodshed. In the same way that everyone receives forgiveness through the Sacrament of Penance, rehabilitation provides people with the chance to reform themselves into better human beings, even those under life imprisonment.
It is ironic that President Duterte has said, “We are our own tormentors — we are our own demons; we are as rapacious predators preying on the helpless…” The President’s demand for the reimposition of the death penalty will precisely lead to such a situation, where human life becomes compromised and much cheaper. The inhumane act of state killing will only breed harm and destruction in this country, for violence only begets violence.
JAMIE DE LUNA, ANNE DISPO, BETTINA GRANDA, MIKA ONG, PATTY GONZAGA
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