Balanga Bishop Ruperto Santos
BALANGA CITY — Bishop Ruperto C. Santos on Friday said that the issue on the imposition of death penalty should remain dead and instead reclusion perpetua with more sanctions be imposed.
“Who are we before God to take matters into our hands? God is the author of life. We owe our life toHim. First and foremost, life is a precious gift from God. No one has the right to take it away except Him alone. God’s command is clear to all ‘Thou shall not kill’ (Exodus 20,13),” the prelate said.
He said that justice should really be served and there should be a penalty for those who committed crimes but certainly not death penalty.
“Let it be then reclusion perpetua. Sequester all the properties of the perpetrators until to the last centavo and use them for the reparations of injuries and damages of the victims, including their rehabilitation,” Santos said.
He said that the Philippines cannot plea for clemency before a foreign country for a Filipino national who is facing a death sentence if our own country practices and adopts the death penalty. “We lose moral authority and credibility to beg for leniency and to save the lives of our overseas Filipino worker languishing in prison,” the bishop said.
He doubted if all will be fair and equal before our laws. He said the poor can never afford the best lawyers.
“The poor and the underprivileged will be more likely victims of countless wronged accusations and convictions. Reform first our justice system. Eradicate selective justice and justice for sale. Be sure that no one is above the law. And assure that there are no sacred cows,” Santos said.
The Bataan bishop is coordinator of the International Catholic Migration Commission Asia Working Group.