Macapagal urged not to lift moratorium on death penalty
New Delhi based Asian Centre for Human Rights (ACHR) urged the President
Gloria Macapagal Arroyo not to lift the moratorium on death penalty.
"There is no empirical evidence that death penalty acts as
a deterrent against crimes." - stated Suhas Chakma, Director
of Asian Centre for Human Rights.
lifting of moratorium on death penalty would be a slap on the face
of the United Nations Human Rights Committee, which urged Philippines
on 11 November 2003 "to take measures to repeal all laws, which
have made it possible to impose the death penalty and to accede
to the Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on
Civil and Political Rights". Philippines has also been urged
to ensure compliance with article 6(5) of the Covenant prohibiting
the imposition of the death sentence for crimes committed by persons
below eighteen years of age."
Republic Act 7659, commonly known as the Death Penalty Act, applies
in a wide range of crimes, including rape, murder, kidnapping, drugs
offences, treason, piracy and bribery. Since executions resumed
in 1999 after a period of 23 years, seven people were executed by
lethal injection between 1999 and 2000. President Joseph Estrada
announced a suspension of executions to mark the Christian Jubilee
Year in 2000. However, death penalty in Philippines extends to an
excessive number of offences which do not fit the definition of
the "most serious" crimes within the meaning of article
6(2) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
Death penalty hangs over 175 convicts, including 12 minors.
Asian Centre for Human Rights urged the Philippines government to
take effective measures to implement the recommendations of the
United Nations Human Rights Committee.[END]
more information please call Director of Asian Centre for Human
Rights in New Delhi, India at +91-11-25503624 or 25620583