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Monday, June 10, 2019, 2:18:54AM

In Defense of the Right to Life: International Law and Death Penalty in the Philippines

A study by the Commission on Human Rights of the Philippines and Dr. Christopher Ward, SC, Australian Bar, Adjunct Professor, Australian National University

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Statement of Commissioner Karen Gomez-Dumpit on the United Nations General Assembly Resolution on Moratorium on the Use of the Death Penalty
Commission on Human Rights | http://chr.gov.ph/statement-of-commissioner-karen-gomez-dumpit-on-the-united-nations-general-assembly-resolution-on-moratorium-on-the-use-of-the-death-penalty/, December 17, 2020
Commissioner Karen Gomez-Dumpit delivered before the Committee on Justice House of Representatives
Commission on Human Rights | https://www.facebook.com/chrgovph/photos/a.784575471659000/2909617312488128/, September 24, 2020
Comm. Karen S. Gomez-Dumpit Message
Comm. Karen S. Gomez-Dumpit Message | https://www.facebook.com/chrgovph/photos/a.784575471659000/2912774812172378/, June 25, 2020
Statement of Commissioner Karen S. Gomez Dumpit on the 17th World Day against Death Penalty
Commission on Human Rights | http://chr.gov.ph/statement-of-commissioner-karen-s-gomez-dumpit-on-the-17th-world-day-against-death-penalty/, October 10, 2019
CHR OK Card: Locsin opposes death penalty, says it wont work
Commission on Human Rights | https://www.facebook.com/chrgovph/photos/a.784575471659000/2213319572117909/, July 24, 2019
Statement of CHR spokesperson, Atty. Jacqueline Ann de Guia, on remarks advocating the reintroduction of death penalty by rope
Commission on Human Rights | https://chr.gov.ph/statement-of-chr-spokesperson-atty-jacqueline-ann-de-guia-on-remarks-advocating-the-reintroduction-of-death-penalty-by-rope/, July 24, 2019
Statement of CHR spokesperson, Atty Jacqueline Ann de Guia, on proposals to restore death penalty in the country
Commission on Human Rights | http://chr.gov.ph/statement-of-chr-spokesperson-atty-jacqueline-ann-de-guia-on-proposals-to-restore-death-penalty-in-the-country/, June 28, 2019
Statement of CHR Commissioner Karen S. Gomez-Dumpit on the Possible Restoration of the Death Penalty
Commission on Human Rights | https://www.facebook.com/notes/commission-on-human-rights-of-the-philippines/statement-of-chr-commissioner-karen-gomez-dumpit-on-the-possible-restoration-of-/2101862306596, May 19, 2019
Statement of CHR Spokesperson, Atty Jacqueline Ann de Guia, on Senator Manny Pacquiao’s remarks supporting death penalty through the Bible (2018)
Commission on Human Rights Statement link | https://www.facebook.com/chrgovph/photos/a.892066110909935/1713839952065876/, August 09, 2018
CHR Reiterates Stance on Death Penalty at End Crime, Not Life Public Forum (2017)
Commission on Human Rights | https://www.facebook.com/chrgovph/photos/a.784575471659000/1341041602679048/, August 17, 2017
CHR Remains Firm Against the Reimposition of the Death Penalty
Commission on Human Rights, March 07, 2017
Commission on Human Rights on the Death Penalty (2017)
Commission on Human Rights | https://www.facebook.com/chrgovph/photos/a.784575471659000/1158481100935100/, February 07, 2017
Advisory on the Reimposition of the Death Penalty - CHR (V) A2016-002
Commission on Human Rights, November 07, 2016

, January 01, 1970

CHR Statements

CHR Remains Firm Against the Reimposition of the Death Penalty

March 07, 2017, Commission on Human Rights

The Commission on Human Rights stands firm in its position against the re-introduction of the death penalty in the Philippines.

Alarmed by the passage of House Bill No. 4727 on third reading that seeks to re-impose death penalty, the Commission urges legislators to heed the legal assertions in the study that it conducted with international law expert Dr. Christopher Ward SC, Senior Counsel at the New South Wales Bar and Honorary Professor at the Australian National University.

The study, entitled, “In Defense of the Right to Life: International Law and Death Penalty in the Philippines” clarifies that the Philippines has exercised its sovereignty to become party to international treaties which absolutely prohibit the re-introduction of the death penalty by the Philippines. The study considers the Philippine Constitution, International law, state practice and domestic jurisprudence and concludes that it is impermissible for the Philippines to withdraw from those treaties. Neither is there any ability for the Philippines to raise constitutional provisions as arguments against the validity or interpretation of those treaties.

In view of the absolute nature of these treaties, the enactment of the current legislative measure is a blatant breach of international law and constitutes an internationally wrongful act subject to international responsibility.

In addition to the absolute prohibition against the death penalty that the Philippines agreed to in the exercise of its sovereignty, the proposed laws additionally breach international law because they apply to crimes that are not “the most serious crimes” within the meaning of Article 6 of the ICCPR. The “most serious crimes” shall be read restrictively and shall be limited to the crimes that, as qualified by the United Nations Human Rights Committee and the United Nations Economic and Social Council, “do not go beyond intentional crimes with lethal or other extremely grave consequences.” Jurisprudence on most serious crimes do not include narcotics crimes.

The Commission believes that the global momentum on the abolition of the death penalty will continue, and that the Philippines, in this regard, must stop its spiral into such a regressive and illegal policy.



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