ON THE COMMUTATION OF DEATH SENTENCE
The CBCP welcomes the presidential commutation into life-sentence the judgment on some 280 convicts in the death row. The CBCP has been constantly opposed to death penalty.
According to the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church “The Church sees as a sign of hope a growing public opposition to the death penalty, even when such a penalty is seen as a kind of legislative defense on the part of society. Modern Society in fact has the means of effectively suppressing crime by rendering criminals harmless without definitively denying them the chance to reform… The growing aversion of public opinion towards the death penalty and the various provisions aimed at abolishing it or suspending its application constitute visible manifestation of a heightened moral consciousness” (#405)
It is therefore our prayer that it will not only be a presidential humanitarian act, but the Congress itself would abolish capital punishment by legislative act.
The control of criminality as well as the reform of society is a common responsibility of the government, church and civil society. Corruption, immorality and poverty breed criminality. Therefore, less of these would mean less criminality. Crime breeds crime. The rehabilitation and reformation of pardoned criminals must also be assured for the continuing peace and harmony in society.
+Angel N. Lagdameo
Archbishop of Jaro
April 16, 2006, Easter Sunday