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.