Cebu church leader asks senators to reject death penalty

Edgar Escalante, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 14 2017 11:17 PM

CEBU - Archbishop Jose Palma has called on senators to reject the death penalty bill.

The Cebu church leader said he is dismayed that House Bill 4727, also known as the death penalty bill, got an overwhelming number of votes at the House of Representatives.

"As a Catholic country, it is our firm conviction that life is precious," said Archbishop Palma.

Palma insisted that capital punishment is anti-poor since poor people can't afford a lawyer who can defend them competently in a death penalty case.

He also said that when a convict is sentenced to death, the convict's family also suffers.

The Archbishop also said it is unnecessary for priests to join the Oplan Tokhang operations of the Philippine National Police (PNP).

"I am very sorry to say that while Tokhang may have started with clean intentions, Tokhang has gained another unfortunate or bad reputation,' Archbishop Palma said.

He added that the Catholic church is committed to help in the anti-drug campaign by staging initiatives that assist drug addicts in rehabilitation.

The Archdiocese of Cebu, in partnership with private groups, started
the "Surrender To God" program at the height of the successive Tokhang and anti-illegal drugs operation.