Church leaders, groups slam ‘barbaric’ Duterte


Catholic leaders and rights groups on Monday condemned as “barbaric” President Rodrigo Duterte’s plan to restore the death penalty and execute “five or six” criminals daily.

Duterte, 71, has made reviving the death penalty in the mainly Catholic nation his top legislative priority as part of a brutal war on crime that has killed 5,300 people.

“There was death penalty before but nothing happened. Return that to me and I would do it every day: five or six (criminals). That’s for real,” Duterte said on Saturday.

An official at the influential Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines said the Church “totally opposed” Duterte’s plan.

“The Philippines will be viewed as very barbaric,” Father Jerome Secillano, executive secretary at its public affairs office, said.

“It’s going to make the Philippines the capital of death penalty in the world.”

The country abolished the death penalty in 2006 following fierce opposition to the penalty from the Catholic Church, the religion of 80 percent of Filipinos.

Before assuming office in June, Duterte vowed to introduce executions by hanging, saying he did not want to waste bullets and believed snapping the spinal cord was more humane than a firing squad.

Duterte has said he viewed the death penalty not as a means to deter crime but for retribution.

Duterte’s allies in the House of Representatives quickly pushed for the bill and said they would vote on it by January.

The United Nations’ human rights chief, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, said in a letter to the Philippine congress this month that reviving the death penalty would violate the country’s international obligations.

But on Saturday, Duterte insisted executions were necessary to fight the drug scourge which he said was “destroying” the nation.

While his aides dismiss his incendiary statements as hyperbole, rights advocates said Duterte’s remarks were alarming.

“Setting a quota for executions is just too much. One death is too much because we are talking about lives,” Amnesty International Philippines vice chairman Romeo Cabarde said.

Catholic leaders and rights defenders have instead urged the government to reform a slow and corrupt justice system which they said was likely to send innocent people to death row.

Secillano said bishops planned to dissuade lawmakers from voting for the death penalty and would attend congressional debates next month.

“The death penalty is a shortcut. The government doesn’t want to go through any process to fix the penal system,” he said.


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  1. Jaime Dela Cruz on

    “The United Nations’ human rights chief, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, said in a letter to the Philippine congress this month that reviving the death penalty would violate the country’s international obligations.”

    I like that. Now let’s ask the UN, how many countries have they violated by infringing on the rights of its citizens. The UN has always been the “hypocrite” face of the western world(U.S.A.), playing god on who will live or perish. Ask Allende of Chile, Suharto of Indonesia, Castro of Cuba, Pizango and Allan Garcia of Peru, Mobutu of Belgian Congo and many more in Europe and Africa. Leaders who were supported by the US and its western allies and the UN in the guise of helping the country but in reality intended to control their economy and their lives. Developing countries who were trying to be independent were subdued and crushed to align themselves to the west and forever become the stooges of the west. Why is the Philippines being shamed and required to honour it’s international obligation while the UN can do anything it wants with developing counties? United my ass.

  2. Now we could gleaned from the deep and strength of the opposition on Duterte on this subject and that is equivalent to how deep and how serious how they neglected their job to the people of God in the Church in the right formation of morals of the people. Yes you have the right to be involve in politics, you can get angry just like what Jesus did to turn those peoples’ upside down in the Temple when the people did make mockery of the Temple of the Father, so you could be as aggressive and vigilant at that as you bring the real meaning and true essence of the words of God to the people. Now its too late, this country needs God’s intervention, because God truly loved His beloved people. This is the dawning of the tribulation set forth by God. Just watch if still have that power bestowed by God, because you turned to be mere man.

  3. Stop interfering in the govt programs, you priest / bishops, you were not elected to run the govt. Your job primarily is share the good news to the lost soul w/c we all belong, that means including you. You think that you are holy, read your bible and understand, because most of you are blind.