Amidst the controversy of death penalty re-imposition in the Philippines, professors and students from different institutions across Davao City took part in creating a dialogue circle, evaluating the country’s faulty justice system and how unprepared our country is on having death sentence re-imposed.
Through the partnership of Commission on Human Rights (CHR) and Association of Schools of Administration in the Philippines (ASPAP), along with Asia Pacific Forum and Ateneo de Davao University, this university-based dialogue on death penalty engaged more or less 30 participants through discussion and workshop last July 2, 2013 at Media Room, 8F Community Center.
The forum served as a venue for a genuine dialogue where the positions of the participants regarding human rights are heard, whether if he or she is for the re-imposition of the death penalty or against it.
Moreover, the event aimed to raise the level of awareness when it comes to the human rights in general. With this, the organizers conducted pre- and post-tests, determining the positions of the participant on the matter.
Coming from the Asian International School of Aeronautics and Technology (AISAT), Gerlieta Ruiz, Ph.D. shared her insights to Atenews after the forum.
“Something has to be done in our country, starting with the judicial system because whatever be the plans of re-imposition of death penalty is nothing if there’s a problem with the judicial system,” Ruiz stressed.
The professor also pointed out the possible loopholes of imposing the death penalty back again.
“If that is not well-strengthened or be given emphasis by our government, then definitely this problem of death penalty or even the re-imposition of this would really be a question to all of the Filipino people, because we know for a fact there are alleged criminals who, by themselves, are not criminals and so supposed to be in the faults of law yet they were able to escape,” she added.
Given the political atmosphere as far as the issue of death penalty is concerned, the CHR remains firm on their stand against the revival of the death sentence, saying that it “desecrates the right to life, which is sacrosanct and inviolable.”
“The death penalty further marginalizes and victimizes the poor who can retain competent counsel nor influence court processes. It cannot be imposed when we have a flawed and corrupt police and a system of prosecution and judiciary that is dire need of cleansing and reforms,” the CHR’s petition against the revival of the death penalty stated.
The dialogue concluded with the signing of the said petition, calling upon the country’s senators and representatives “to vote against senate and house bills that seek it re-imposition.”