The Philippines identifies itself as a catholic nation, therefore carrying with it the catholic values. However, as times change, so does the country – and undeniably its stance toward values concerning life and death.
As the nation faces a moral dilemma with the reintroduction and revival of the death penalty in the hands the Duterte Administration, the Philippine Congress seemed to have reached an overwhelming approval for the capital punishment that has been eradicated, over a decade ago, under the rule of former President Gloria Arroyo.
Needless to say, irony echoes in the wishbone of our administration, having already played god with the heated and controversial passing of the Reproductive Health Law, which also discusses the importance of one’s life the value system of the country is starting to get questionable.
Death penalty seems to be the necessary scape goat for the already rising body count of over 7,000 unjustified deaths which was the outcome in nation’s romanticized war on drugs. Much to our dismay, the House of Representative passed death penalty with 217 congressmen voting for its approval last Tuesday.
The vocal support of President Duterte on death penalty is said to have influenced the approval of the house of congress. The bill primarily affecting only drug related crimes, removing rape, plunder, murder amongst others from its scope.
However, Rep. Lito Atienza of party-list Buhay said that even though this may seem the case, there most likely wouldn’t be any judicial execution during President Duterte’s term.
“We will challenge the constitutionality of this bill before the Supreme Court. The case will take years to resolve. Assuming the high court would uphold its constitutionality, it will take more years to convict a single offender. Once there is a conviction, the appeal process follows. By that time, President Duterte will no longer be in office,” Atienza said.
If the only reason for the approval is the political take of our current president with regards to punishment and in its extremes, what mockery can we take for having no long lasting stance in principle and in truth? One’s life, no matter how trivial his or her may seem, should never be crucified to a matter of a trend and an attitude.
There are options and consequences to be considered and weighed, educated opinions to critique and heed. The ripples this would send can make or break our nation, but whose lives are to be sacrificed for the content of another?
A nation who claims to be of faith cannot walk on false virtues with its idol held next to our God. If we cannot practice what we preach, how then can we mean what we say? (Meilkuiazjuh Vargas)