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La presidente filippina Gloria Arroyo
President Gloria Arroyo
THE PHILIPPINES. HOUSE STARTS DEBATES ON BILL ABOLISHING DEATH PENALTY

May 17, 2006: the House Representatives began floor debates on the abolition of the death penalty in the country as contained in a bill certified as urgent by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. In his sponsorship of House Bill 4826 known as “An act prohibiting the imposition of the death penalty in the Philippines,” Albay Representative Edcel Lagman cited the following reasons why capital punishment should be abolished: • It violates the ultimate right of a person to live.
• The death of a criminal in the hands of the State will diminish rather than uplift the human spirit.
• The death penalty is viewed as a “cruel, degrading, and inhuman” punishment.
• The enforcement of the death penalty did not comply with the law which requires the existence of “compelling reasons” to justify its imposition.
• It has not been proven that the death penalty will be a deterrent to crimes.  
Lagman pointed out that although the crime rate in the country was high between 1987 and 1994 when there was no death penalty, its restoration in 1994 did not stop the upsurge of criminal offences, particularly kidnapping, rape, and drug trafficking. The lawmaker cited statistics from the Philippine National Police, which showed that the number of murders in the country slid from 12,306 in 1987 to 6,446 in 1994 before the death penalty was re-imposed in the same year. When former president Joseph Estrada ordered a moratorium on executions, the 80,108 crimes committed in 2000 declined by 2,430.
“Clearly, the imposition of the death penalty does not necessarily decrease the crime rate while its abolition has resulted in a decrease in the rate of criminality,” he said.
“It is most likely that what would deter the criminally-inclined is not the severity of the penalty but the swiftness of their apprehension, the speed of their prosecution, and the certainty of their conviction when their guilt is proved beyond reasonable doubt,” he said.
Lagman belittled the strong public support for capital punishment, saying this is only a product of “misinformation and lack of factual foundation.” He said if the general public would only be informed of the reality of the death penalty and the cruelty and inhumanity of its execution, many people would support its abolition.
“Nonetheless, the State should not be swayed by popular opinion. It must act for the benefit of all not just the majority. It is indeed distressing for a State to commit murder because the majority dictates it,” he said. (Sources: INQ7.net, 17/05/2006)

More news:
IRAN. NAZANIN DEATH PENALTY OVERTURNED, NEW TRIAL TO BE HELD
UNITED NATIONS. UN RIGHTS EXPERTS URGE N KOREA TO SUSPEND TREASON EXECUTION
KAZAKHSTAN. HOC MEETS WITH OPPOSITION, DISCUSSES UN MORATORIUM ON EXECUTIONS
ZIMBABWE. MAN SENTENCED TO DEATH FOR FARMER MURDER
BANGLADESH. COURT ORDERS SEVEN MILITANTS TO HANG
BENIN. GOVERNMENT OPTS TO MAINTAIN CAPITAL PUNISHMENT
KAZAKHSTAN. ‘FROM MORATORIUM TO THE ABOLITION OF THE DEATH PENALTY’
RUSSIA. BESLAN ATTACKER JAILED FOR LIFE
EUROPEAN UNION. EU PRESSES CHINA ON TORTURE, DEATH PENALTY
KAZAKHSTAN. HANDS OFF CAIN WILL ATTEND THE MEETING ON THE ABOLITION OF THE DEATH PENALTY
CANADA. PRIME MINISTER 'INSISTS' CHINESE FUGITIVE SHOULD NOT FACE DEATH PENALTY
KAZAKHSTAN. CONSTITUTIONAL COUNCIL PROPOSES TO KEEP DEATH PENALTY FOR TERRORISM
IRAN. MAN HANGED IN PUBLIC FOR ARMED ROBBERY
ITALY. HANDS OFF CAIN IN SUPPORT OF PRODI’S COMMITMENT FOR A MORATORIUM ON EXECUTIONS AT THE NEXT UN GENERAL ASSEMBLY
ETHIOPIA. MENGISTU VERDICT DELAYED
PAKISTAN. HANGING OF BRITON POSTPONED
CHINA. VIDEO RECORDING TO BE USED IN DEATH SENTENCE CASES
IRAN. MAN HANGED IN PUBLIC FOR MURDER
IRAN. MAN HANGED IN PUBLIC FOR MURDER
IRAN. MAN HANGED IN PRISON FOR DRUG DEALING
IRAN. TWO CONVICTED MURDERERS HANGED
IRAN. MAN HANGED FOR KIDNAPPING AND ARMED ROBBERY
YEMEN. DEATH SENTENCE COMMUTED
PAKISTAN. TWO MEN HANGED FOR MURDER
VIETNAM. FIVE PEOPLE EXECUTED BY FIRING SQUAD FOR HEROIN DEALING
BRITAIN. BLAIR ASKS MUSHARRAF TO STOP BRITON BEING HANGED
BANGLADESH. SIX PEOPLE SENTENCED TO DEATH FOR RAPE AND MURDER
SOMALIA. MAN EXECUTED IN BELEDWEN FOR MURDER
TEXAS, USA. HERRON EXECUTED FOR MURDERS
RUSSIA. BESLAN REBEL COMMITTED TERRORISM, JUDGE

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DEATH PENALTY: UN GENERAL ASSEMBLY’S VOTE PRO-MORATORIUM A FURTHER STEP TOWARDS ABOLITION
  DEATH PENALTY: THE NOBEL PEACE LAUREATES STAND FOR THE UN MORATORIUM  
  USA: EXECUTIONS, NEW DEATH SENTENCES CONTINUE TO FALL  
  PAKISTAN PREPARES TO EXECUTE 55 DEATH ROW INMATES  
  PAKISTAN: PRESIDENT REJECTS MERCY APPEAL OF 17 DEATH PENALTY CONVICTS  
  PAKISTAN: PRIME MINISTER LIFTS MORATORIUM ON DEATH PENALTY AFTER TALIBAN ATTACK  
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