Sotto, Church group disagree on death penalty

Posted at 02/05/2014 6:09 PM

MANILA - Sen. Tito Sotto, an ally of the Catholic Church in its fight against the Reproductive Health Law, is now at odds with the church for proposing the revival of the death penalty for those convicted of heinous crimes.

In a statement published by CBCPNews, the Episcopal Commission on Prison Pastoral Care (ECPPC) said the death penalty would only increase the risk of executing innocent people.

It said Sotto's proposal to revive the death penalty is an "unenlightened, counter-productive, and counter-progressive move."

“The stance against the death penalty is in no way a posture to let criminal offenders go scot-free. The Catholic Church believes in Justice and it is ranked high in its hierarchy of values,” the ECCPC said.

The group said various studies have shown that the death penalty is no deterrent to crime.

ECPPC executive secretary Rodolfo Diamante also said there are around 400 inmates that are "wrongfully convicted" based on their own studies conducted with students from different universities to prisoners convicted of murder and rape.

Instead of reimposing the death penalty, Diamante said the justice system should transcend punitive justice to restorative justice.

Sotto earlier said he wants to reimpose the death penalty for criminals "who can no longer be rehabilitated." He said the death penalty should be meted to those involved in high scale drug trafficking and rape with aggravating circumstances.

The senator said his support for the death penalty does not negate his position to oppose the RH Law.

"I am pro-life for the unborn. I am pro-life for the Filipino family. But I am not pro-life for the low-life, I mean, for heinous criminals," he said in an ANC interview. With a report by CBCPNews