World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 

Philippines: First Execution In Two Years Imminent

Philippines: First Execution In Two Years Imminent

23 August 2002

Amnesty International today urged President Arroyo of the Philippines to declare a moratorium on the death penalty and grant clemency to three men who are due to be executed in the next few months, one on 30 August.

If these executions go ahead, they will end a two-year freeze on executions introduced by former President Joseph Estrada in 2000 to mark the Christian Jubilee year. Although President Arroyo has commuted at least 18 death sentences since coming to power, she changed her mind in October last year saying that the government needed to "strike fear into the hearts of criminals."

"The President should know that executions fail to deter criminals. Soaring crime rates are a concern for many governments worldwide. However there are ways of tackling law and order problems and punishing criminals without resorting to killing. The death penalty achieves nothing but revenge," Amnesty International said.

Three prisoners, convicted of raping their daughters, are scheduled to be executed in the next two months. "President Arroyo has the power to grant clemency. She should do so, and declare a moratorium."

Women's groups in the Philippines have pointed out that the death penalty is not the solution to high rates of incest, saying that it has a brutalizing effect and risks increasing the suffering of vulnerable child victims. In 1999 a man convicted of incestuous rape was executed, despite pleas from his daughters that his life should be saved.

Amnesty International is also concerned that serious flaws in the criminal justice system, including the use of torture or ill-treatment to coerce confessions, may lead to execution of the innocent. Criminal suspects are often denied access to lawyers for prolonged periods and paraded in front of the media as criminals, before they have even been tried in court. Such abuses are in clear contravention of international human rights standards.

"Recent moves in Congress towards abolition of the death penalty are a welcome signal that change may be on the way," Amnesty International said. In May, the House Committees on Revision of Laws and Civil, Political and Human Rights approved bills providing for abolition. The Senate is currently debating a similar bill.

Amnesty International hopes that President Arroyo will follow the example of the President of Guatemala who, on the recent occasion of a visit to the country by Pope John Paul II, declared his opposition to the death penalty and announced his intention to work towards abolition. The Pope is due to visit the Philippines in January 2003.

Background The Philippines moved against worldwide trends by reintroducing the death penalty in late 1993. It had previously been abolished in 1987. Executions were resumed in 1999 after 23 years. The death sentence may be imposed for a total of 46 different offences, including aggravated rape, bribery committed by a public officer, kidnapping for ransom, arson resulting in death and certain drug offences.

According to the Free Legal Assistance Group, by June 2002 there were 1,007 prisoners on death row in Manila.

You may repost this message onto other sources provided the main text is not altered in any way and both the header crediting Amnesty International and this footer remain intact.


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Gordon Campbell: Is This Guy The World’s Most Dangerous Thirtysomething?

Saudi Arabia has long been regarded as a pillar of stability in the Middle East, and is the essential caterer to the West’s fossil fuel needs. It is also the country that gave us Osama Bin Laden, al Qaeda, and 15 of the 19 terrorists who carried out the 9/11 attacks... More>>

ALSO:

Non-Binding Postal Vote: Australia Says Yes To Same Sex Marriage

Binoy Kampmark: Out of 150 federal seats, 133 registered affirmative totals in returning their response to the question “Should the law be changed to allow same-sex couples to marry?”. More>>

ALSO:

Bonn Climate Change Conference: Protecting Health In Small Island States

The vision is that, by 2030, all Small Island Developing States will have health systems that are resilient to climate change and countries around the world will be reducing their carbon emissions both to protect the most vulnerable from climate risks and deliver large health benefits in carbon-emitting countries. More>>

ALSO:

Camp Shut Down: Refugees Must Be Rescued From Manus

On 31st October 2017, the detention centre on Manus Island in which the Australian Government has been holding more than 700 refugees was closed, leaving those living there in a desperate situation. More>>

ALSO:

EARLIER:

Rohingya Muslims Massacred: Restrictions On Aid Put 1000s At Risk

Amnesty: The Myanmar authorities’ restrictions on international aid in Rakhine state is putting tens of thousands of lives at risk in a region where mainly Rohingya people are already suffering horrific abuses from a disproportionate military campaign. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 
 
  • Pacific.Scoop
  • Cafe Pacific
  • PMC