Reinstating the death penalty would violate Philippine’s international legal obligations, in particular, the Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which the country has ratified.
The reasons behind the reinstatement of the death penalty are ill founded and purely a political one. Numerous studies and analysis have concluded that death penalty does not deter crime. Indeed, there has been no existing reliable evidence to prove otherwise.
ADPAN also wishes to highlight that the UN Office on Drugs and Crime has consistently called for the abolishment of death penalty on drug related offences, citing that such irreversible and oppressive laws are not an effective prevention and solution and it is not supported by international drug conventions.
It is also to be noted that on 11th January 2017, Deputy Prime Minister of Thailand Mr Wisanu Krea-ngarm had said that Thailand would eventually do away with death penalty by trying to amend the law to find alternative to the capital punishment, taking into consideration the global trend on abolition.
The Malaysian government has also announced its intention to abolish the mandatory death penalty on drug offences while a comprehensive study is now underway that may also see the total abolition of the death penalty.
Philippine, if successfully revive the death penalty, would not only move backward in its human rights standards and obligations, and would also not be in line with the progress made by its neighboring countries towards the eventual abolition of death penalty.
ADPAN states its disappointment that this Bill to reinstate the death penalty is being rushed on 16 January 2017 when the House of Representative resumes, and urges all members of the House of Representative and Senate to consider it carefully and reject it, respecting and upholding the right to life.
Ngeow Chow Ying
For and on behalf of the ADPAN Executive Committee
15 January 2017
The Anti-Death Penalty Asia Network (ADPAN) is an independent cross-regional network committed to working for an end to the death penalty across the Asia Pacific region. ADPAN is made up of NGOs, organizations, civil society groups, lawyers and individual members, not linked to any political party, religion or government and campaigns against the death penalty. It currently has members in 28 countries: Afghanistan, Australia, Bangladesh, China, Denmark, France, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Mongolia, Nepal, New Zealand, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Singapore, Spain, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, Tonga, Vietnam, UK, USA.