Philippine Standard Time
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


Virginia Becomes First Southern State to Abolish the Death Penalty
The New York Times |, March 24, 2021
Death penalty debate reemerges in Nevada after past stalls
Fox 5 (Las Vegas) |, March 24, 2021
Virginia becomes first state in US south to abolish death penalty
ALJAZEERA |, March 24, 2021
Abolish the federal death penalty
Chicago Sun-times |, March 01, 2021
Family members of murder victims speak out against the death penalty
KPVI News 6 |, March 01, 2021
Bill To Repeal Death Penalty Filed In Wyoming Legislature
Kgab |, March 01, 2021
State Senate Votes to Abolish Death Penalty
Newsradio 1140 WRVA |, February 04, 2021
Trump administration carries out 13th, final federal execution
Aljazeera |, January 16, 2021
A federal judge has granted a stay of execution for the only woman on federal death row pending a competency hearing
CNN |, January 12, 2021
Asian Nations Reject UN Vote Against Death Penalty
Human Rights Watch |, November 24, 2020
Holy See: ‘Death penalty the most shocking thing in the world
Vatican News |, October 10, 2020
Tunisia president calls for return of death penalty following brutal killing
The Guardian |, October 01, 2020
Kazakhstan takes important step towards abolishing death penalty
Amnesty Internatonal |, September 24, 2020
US Bishops stress opposition to death penalty
Independent Catholic News |, September 23, 2020
‘Travesty of justice’: Reaction to execution of Iranian wrestler
Aljazeera |, September 14, 2020
Unpacking public opinion on the death penalty
Asia Pacific Forum |, July 28, 2020
The Florida Supreme Court’s U-turn on the death penalty
Tampa Bay Times |, May 28, 2020
Man sentenced to death in Singapore via Zoom
BBC News |, May 20, 2020
Saudi Arabia ends death penalty for crimes committed by minors
The Guardian |, April 27, 2020
Catholic leaders praise abolition of death penalty in Colorado
CRUX |, March 25, 2020
Colorado Abolishes Death Penalty and Commutes Sentences of Death Row Inmates
The New York Times |, March 23, 2020
UK urged to act over men facing death in Egypt for alleged childhood crimes
The Guardian |, March 08, 2020
Berlin International Film Festival: Iranian film about executions wins top prize
BBC |, February 29, 2020
Trump condemned after claiming very powerful death penalty would reduce drug dealing
The Independent |, February 11, 2020
Outsourcing injustice: Guantanamo on the Euphrates
Al Jazeera News |, February 04, 2020
British Isis prisoners may end up in Iraq, where death sentences are handed down without due process
Independent |, February 02, 2020
Saudi Arabia executed record number of prisoners in 2019: Report
ABC News |, January 14, 2020
Death Sentence Overturned for Pervez Musharraf, Ex-Leader of Pakistan
The New York Times |, January 13, 2020
Japan executes foreigner for first time in a decade
Independent |, December 26, 2019
The Khashoggi verdict is exactly what impunity looks like. It must be denounced.
Agnes Callamard, Opinions, Washington Post |, December 24, 2019
5 foreigners in drug case could face death in Indonesia |, December 18, 2019
Pervez Musharraf: Pakistan ex-leader sentenced to death for treason
BBC News |, December 17, 2019
Botswana urged to abolish death penalty after latest execution
The Guardian |, December 09, 2019
I Oversaw Executions. We Cannot Resume the Federal Death Penalty
New York Times |, December 04, 2019
Americans Now Support Life in Prison Over Death Penalty
Gallup News |, November 25, 2019
UN criticizes Irans use of death penalty against minors
DW |, October 24, 2019
The Death Penalty for Drugs: What Public Opinion Surveys in Asia Teach Us
Giada Girelli, Filter Mag |, October 17, 2019
Malaysia: Unfair trials, secretive hangings and petty drug convictions reveal ‘cruel injustice’ of the death penalty
Amnesty International |, October 10, 2019
Against the death penalty: barrister Julian McMahon
ABC Radio |, July 25, 2019
Malaysia’s repeal of death penalty opens deep wounds, including that of Mongolian model murder
The Independent|, July 09, 2019
Why is Sri Lanka reinstating death penalty?
DW|, July 07, 2019
Debate on death penalty not very vigorous 1 year after Aum executions
Japan Today|, July 06, 2019
Prosecutor won’t seek death penalty in death of grandmother
News 4 Tucson|, July 06, 2019
SC issues Interim Order against death penalty
Daily FT|, July 06, 2019
Latter-day Saint Church defends involvement in death penalty case
Fox13 Salt Lake City|, July 06, 2019
Death penalty debate remains muted in Japan 1 year after AUM executions
Kyodo News|, July 05, 2019
Source: Govt will not table Bill to abolish death penalty this Parliament meeting
The Star|, July 05, 2019
The murder was caught on surveillance video. The accused now faces death if convicted
Miami Herald|, July 05, 2019
Sri Lanka- Supreme Court issues interim order against death penalty
MenaFN|, July 05, 2019
Jury to consider death penalty in Chinese scholar killing
Federal News Network|, July 05, 2019
As Malaysia eyes death penalty repeal, Al Jazeera documentary explores dilemma of capital punishment
Malay Mail|, July 04, 2019
Kentucky judge declares death penalty protocol unconstitutional
Crux Now|, July 04, 2019
Jose Martinez, The Hit Man Who Confessed To Killing Three Dozen People, Avoids The Death Penalty
BuzzFeed News|, July 03, 2019
Merced County DA is seeking the death penalty. And it could get costly, experts say
The Merced Sunstar|, July 03, 2019
Activists Hold Annual Fast Outside Supreme Court to Protest Death Penalty
Spektrum News|, July 02, 2019
Kentucky judge declares states death penalty protocol unconstitutional
The Courier Journal|, July 02, 2019
Lawmakers vote to substantially limit Oregon’s death penalty
Oregon Live|, June 29, 2019
Abolish the Death Penalty?
New York Times|, June 22, 2019
The Intercept|, June 18, 2019
In Los Angeles, only people of color are sentenced to death
The Guardian|, June 18, 2019
Debunking the Court’s Latest Death-Penalty Obsession
The Atlantic|, June 17, 2019
Poll finds Californians support the death penalty — and Newsom’s moratorium on executions
The LA Times|, June 17, 2019
Using Saudi death penalty vs. children is barbaric
CNN|, June 17, 2019
Reader reluctantly accepts governor’s death penalty moratorium
The LA Times|, June 14, 2019
Saudi Teenager Faces Death Sentence for Acts When He Was 10
New York Times|, June 09, 2019
GOP Lawmakers Are Quietly Turning Against the Death Penalty
The Atlantic|, June 07, 2019
Death knell: taking a stand to abolish capital punishment
Monash University |, February 26, 2019
Germany abolishes death penalty in public vote
Independent |, November 21, 2018
Pope Francis: ‘death penalty inadmissable’
Vatican News |, August 02, 2018
One Test Could Exonerate Him. Why Wont California Do It?
The New York Times|, May 17, 2018

Local News

CHR says death penalty an ‘utmost form of torture

August 05, 2020, CNN Philippines

Gerg Cahiles, CNN Philippines, Aug 5, 2020 10:03:13 PM

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, August 5) -- In response to President Rodrigo Duterte's call for the reimposition of the death penalty, the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) on Wednesday said that capital punishment is the ultimate form of torture.

At the panel inquiry on the revival of the death penalty at the House of Representatives, the CHR argued that domestic and international laws prohibit torture.

"We believe that death penalty is the utmost form of torture," CHR Commissioner Karen Dumpit said. "We have already enacted an anti-torture act to implement the convention against torture."

Constitutional issues surrounding capital punishment were also raised during the hearing.

Cagayan de Oro Representative Rufus Rodriguez said bringing back the death penalty will violate Articles 2 and 3 of the 1987 Constitution.

Rodriguez said that when the Philippines signed the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), it committed to abolish the death penalty.

Since the Senate concurred to this treaty, Rodriguez said passing a death penalty bill will violate the Doctrine on Incorporation under Article 2 of the Constitution.

"If we are going to impose the death penalty, then we therefore violate not only our Constitution, because it adopts generally accepted principles of international law, which are the treaties signed by many countries...our country would violate customary international law," the Mindanaoan congressman said.

He added that Article 3 of the Philippine Constitution, prohibits physical, psychological and degrading penalties.

But those who favor the death penalty measure insisted that the Constitution also allows its imposition if there is a compelling reason to do so.

Both the Department of Justice and the Public Attorney's Office supported it.

"The Department of Justice sees no legal or constitutional impediment to Congress' reimposition of death penalty,” said Justice Assistant Secretary Nicholas Felix Ty.

“There are two main reasons for this position of the Department of Justice," he said. "The first reason is that the imposition of death penalty is within the powers of Congress and second, the imposition of death penalty is allowed by the Constitution.”

Drug menace as compelling reason to reinstate capital punishment?

Rep. Vicente Veloso, chairman of the House Committee on Justice, said it is Congress that will determine whether or not there is a compelling reason to legislate the death penalty.

He added that the President has the power to veto the bill in case he thinks there is no sufficient reason to enact it.

During his 5th State of the Nation Address (SONA), the President himself asked Congress to reinstate capital punishment by lethal injection for drug-related violations.

But the CHR said there is no need to resurrect it.

"There is no compelling reason, your honor," said Dumpit when Minority Leader Benny Abante--who also filed a bill that will revive capital punishment--asked her if the current drug menace is compelling enough to reinstate the death penalty.

"There is a provision in the Constitution, of course, that says heinous crimes and we equate that to most serious of crimes," she said. "And in the most serious crimes in international law, if you'll have a listing of that, drugs are not found in those list."

Wrong timing

Meanwhile, Muntinlupa Rep. Ruffy Biazon said it is not the right time to discuss the death penalty with the entire country bearing the brunt of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Biazon, who also authored a death penalty bill for drug offenders, asked the committee not to include his bill during Wednesday's House inquiry.

The House of Representatives under the speakership of Pantaleon Alvarez passed the death penalty for drug-related cases in 2019.

The bill, however, was stalled in the Senate.

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