Pacquiao doubles down on link between God's law, death penalty

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 24 2017 09:27 PM | Updated as of Jan 24 2017 09:28 PM

Pro-death penalty lawmakers are doing their best to fast-track the bill's passage because they need to move on to other matters, Senator Manny Pacquiao has said.

As part of marathon sessions for the proposed measure, senators have scheduled a committee hearing on February 7 for the death penalty bill, Pacquiao said on ANC’s “Beyond Politics” on Tuesday.

“We scheduled a committee hearing on February 7, in the Committee on Justice, chaired by Senator (Richard) Gordon,” Pacquiao said.

A vocal supporter of capital punishment, Pacquiao has been under fire for his claims that the Bible shows that God supports it.

“The Bible says thou shall not kill. Tama po iyan, but we are talking about the law of the land. The Bible says, authority is established by God, (and is) instituted by God. Whoever rebels against it is rebelling against what God instituted,” he said.

Last week, he told reporters at the Senate that God gave the government the right to use capital punishment, as even Jesus Christ was sentenced to death by Roman rulers.

“Ano ang dahilan natin para mag-oppose tayo? Are we greater than God? I want to remind everyone, especially those in the Congress and senate, that when you make a decision...basta (magdudulot ng) kabutihan sa lahat, bakit hindi mo payagan?” he said.

However, Pacquiao’s claims were previously disputed by Catholic Church leaders.

In August last year, Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo said that Jesus Christ preached for mercy, not "eye for an eye" and "a tooth for a tooth."

He also said that not everything in the Bible should be followed to the letter.

"Hindi lahat ng nakalagay na Bible verse na nakalagay sa Bible ay ginagawa natin. Hindi na tayo nag-aalay ng mga baka, ng mga tupa na nakalagay sa Bible," Pabillo said. 

(We do not follow everything that is stated in the Bible. We no longer sacrifice cows, sheep which were stated in the Bible.)

Archbishop Socrates Villegas, president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines, also led protests against the passage of the death penalty.