MANILA - The Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) welcomed Senators Vicente "Tito" Sotto III and Panfilo Lacson's retraction of support for death penalty.
In a statement, the CBCP Episcopal Commission on Prison Pastoral Care said the change of heart of the lawmakers will be beneficial to the Catholic Church's pro-life advocacy.
"Coming from two prominent and veteran legislators, this will boost the Church’s advocacy against any moves to reintroduce capital punishment in our statute books," its chairman, Bishop Joel Baylon, said.
Baylon also reiterated that capital punishment will never be a solution to crime.
"It is punitive and disregards the dignity, which is inherent in every human person," he said.
“We maintain that it is not the severity of punishment, but the certainty that a person, who commits a crime, will be held accountable for his acts and omissions, is what will deter crime," Baylon added.
Lacson on Thursday said he changed his stance and is now against the restoration of death penalty after watching the movie "The Life of David Gale".
The film is about an advocate for death penalty elimination who was falsely accused of a crime and found himself in death row.
Lacson earlier filed a bill to restore death penalty over the increasing number of heinous crimes.
His running-mate, Sotto, has also changed his stance.
Sotto said one of the first bills he filed when won as senator in 1992 was the reimposition of the death penalty. But he said a better solution would be to confine high-level drug convicts and heinous criminals in a separate “super max” penitentiary with no means of communication.