The Sangguniang Laiko ng Pilipinas, a Catholic lay council, called on legislators to stop moves to revive capital punishment in the country.
In a statement, the group said legislators should remove the “blinders” that prevent them from seeing that the death penalty is an offense against the inviolability of life.
The council opposes the revival of capital punishment saying its reimposition will “single out for punishment the most vulnerable sectors of society who have no means to defend themselves.”
“Moreover, as a country, our failure to honor our commitment with the international community not to bring back death penalty will not only put us in a bad light but lose their respect as well,” added the group.
The council instead urged legislators to focus their attention on combatting the effects of the coronavirus pandemic through a comprehensive health program.
The group said legislators should also give attention to the speedy enactment of laws that will reform the country’s judicial and correctional systems.
Catholic Church leaders have consistently opposed moves in Congress to reintroduce the death penalty.
The bishops said such law has “no place in a Christian and civilized society like ours.”
“We believe that our justice system should move beyond punishment towards a justice that promotes healing and rehabilitation,” read an earlier statement from the bishops.
On June 24, 2006, former president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo signed a law scrapping the death penalty ahead of her scheduled trip to the Vatican.
A copy of the law was one of the former president’s gifts to Pope Benedict XVI during the celebration of the feast of St. John the Baptist that year.