France frowns on possible return of death penalty in PH

Trishia Billones, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 11 2017 03:23 PM

MANILA - France said it was concerned of the Philippine government's "determination" to reinstall death penalty, a punishment they called as "unjust, inhumane, and ineffective."

"France is also concerned about the determination of the Philippine authorities to reintroduce the death penalty, following its abolition in 2006," it said in a statement by its Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs.

This comes as the European country lauded Mongolia for abolishing the punishment and Gambia for committing to abolish it before the United Nations. It also backed the termination of death penalty in Benin, Nauru, and Guinea.

France also expressed concern on the continued use of death penalty in countries such as China, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Iraq and the United States; and the resumption of executions in Nigeria, Bahrain, Kuwait, and Jordan.

As nations marked the World Day Against the Death Penalty, France said it was "opposed to the death penalty everywhere and under all circumstances" and that it is committed to its universal abolition.

Philippines was the first Asian country to stop using death penalty as a punishment in 1987, but President Fidel Ramos reinstated it in 1993 in response to allegedly increasing crime rates. It was abolished again under President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in 2006. 

President Rodrigo Duterte said he will restore the death penalty, even announcing that he prefers punishment by hanging rather than by lethal injection.

He said the re-imposition of the death penalty was not meant to deter crime but for retribution.

A measure making death penalty an option for judges to impose it on those convicted for drug-related offenses was passed in March at the House of Representatives, where Duterte allies compose a supermajority.

Seven bills are pending at the Senate seeking to restore the death penalty for various crimes.