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University denounces death penalty thru protest

The Ateneo community condemned the re-imposition of death penalty through a peace protest “Noise for Life” at the Roxas gate, March 8.

Representatives from different student organizations, namely Buklurang Atenista (Buklat), Pinag-isang Lakas ng Samahan ng mga Progresibong Atenista (Piglasapat), Bahaghari, Arrupe Social Formation Office, Student Council Association of the Philippines, among others, were present during the event.

“Noise for Life” was a peace protest after the House of Representatives recently approved on third and final reading of the re-imposition of the death penalty in the country’s justice system.

The said event followed after the third reading of House Bill No. 4727 last March 7. The bill seeks to revive capital punishment for drug-related crimes. The decision was based on the garnered 216 YES votes, 54 NO votes, and one abstention.

Megue Zea Monteverde of Buklat emphasized that death penalty is not the solution and that the government should first address the root cause of poverty. Buklat believes that the imposition of death penalty is anti-poor and anti-human rights.

Meanwhile, Piglasapat said on their official statement, “Advocates of death penalty believe that it is the key in decreasing criminality. However, we, in Piglasapat, as activists and fighters for social justice, solidarity, and equality, see no social justice in defining capital punishment. The retribution brought by execution is not justice but a sign of vengeance.”

Bahaghari representative Via Gonzaga also shared the same sentiments. She expressed her dismay in the said move of the Congress. She said that the government should focus on the internal reformation of the justice system and not resort to death penalty.

Jason Cyril Tajores of AOSF stressed that such penalty is contradictory to religious principles. He urged everyone to “assess, reflect, and ponder on the gravity of the said decision.”

Lunar Fayloga, the Samahan Central Board moderator, concluded the event through a prayer for the lawmakers especially that the next decision will be passed to the Senate.

“Bisa’g asa man ka nga kriminal sa tibook kalibutan, naa kay karapatang magbag-o. Dili ni about Duterte. This is a conscience stand. Mao ni ang ingon sa among konsensya,” Fayloga expressed.

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