Good governance, effective law-enforcement will stop crime growth– not the death penalty


WITH the apparent increase in the trade in illegal drugs and general lawlessness in the Philippines, reinstating the death penalty for the worst crimes has again become a popular topic.

To some extent this is understandable. We are all frustrated by seeing heinous crimes go completely unpunished. Even those who commit the most horrible, shameful acts of brutality seem to have little trouble avoiding ever being called to account for them; and when they are, they can, provided they have the money for it, buy themselves a comfortable imprisonment, complete with amenities such as the latest electronics, pets, a swimming pool, drugs, and weapons – just a few of the many alarming discoveries made during searches of the New Bilibid prison in the past year.

We are frustrated by frequent reports of police officers, the very people we rely on to maintain peace and order, being involved in crimes ranging from petty drug dealing to spectacularly brazen kidnappings and murders. To be fair to our men and women in uniform and their leader, PNP Chief Ricardo Marquez, the vast majority are honorable, hard-working officers, but it takes only a few to cast uncertainty on them all.

That culture of impunity in law enforcement, which is in turn a reflection of the culture of impunity in our government and society at large, has only gotten worse under the execrable misguidance of President BS Aquino 3rd, who compounded the personal shortcomings of inexperience and inability to learn with the sins of selfishness and prejudice in leaving the management of the nation’s law enforcement and public safety to unqualified cronies with questionable morals and motives.

If we are to clean up the mess left behind by the regrettable Aquino era and become better as a society, we cannot achieve that by taking an evolutionary step backwards to reinstate the death penalty. It is a barbarous shortcut to justice that does nothing to deter crime, and in fact is morally and logically counter-productive: The point of having laws and enforcing them is to create a culture of values, of respect for life, property, and productive coexistence. None of those values are exemplified by the act of killing a person. There is some evidence, in fact, that the imposition of the death penalty correlates to higher rates of violent crime: In a 2012 study, of the 10 states in the US with the highest murder rates, only one did not have the death penalty; of the top 20 states, 17 were states with the death penalty.

Indeed, we are all frustrated, but the correct way to resolve that frustration is not to reject the moral values of our faith and culture that we profess to honor and defend, and not to treat the symptom instead of the disease with a method that is demonstrably ineffective, but rather to select leaders with the skills and good intentions to address the root causes of criminality, and work with them to fix our broken society.

We also wish to point out that the vast majority our people expressly accords with the moral teachings of the Roman Catholic Church and condemns the death penalty. We are with the majority in respecting this teaching of the Church.

We unequivocally reject the death penalty as immoral and erroneous, and we must reject any candidate who insists it must be reinstated.


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  1. Having the death penalty,does not stop murder..Or crimes of violence –I have not seen any studies where this has been shown …

    If this was the case we could simply have the death penalty..Murder would cease..

    .Instead we see people on death row for years …The governments institute a far worse torture, on the ones who committed the crime….

    .Maybe some families of the victim; may welcome this kind of torture.. I think most would not..

    .Is the idea of incarcerating someone for years, before putting them to death .Calculated to stop others from doing it ..

    Where we see from many studies ; that it has no effect whatsoever…Good?

    So why do we keep on crying out bring back death penalty …Despite the facts –Well only one answer come to mind …Revenge!

    Dr David M meyer {PhD Psych}

  2. Morality is a virtue for people with virtues but for drug dealers, corruptors and other criminals, they use morality as their shield. Think about the biblical Noe and Sodom and Gomorra!

    Please don’t wait for the Philippines to be like Mexico and many South American countries being ruled by drug cartels that needed the assistance of the US to deliver their countries from the scourge of corruption and drugs. Be REALISTS.

  3. The writer of this article is out of this world, because there is no solution offered to combat all these heinous crimes that was mentioned. Instead morality and the teachings of Roman Catholic Church should be the foundation when we create laws dealing with criminality. I completely disagree with what was said on this article, because Philippines cannot legislate morality. There are so many drug smugglers, dealers, and peddlers doing business in the Philippines. Without “Dead Penalty”, we will reach a point where drug KINGPINS will rule the country and our law enforcement will be outgunned and outnumbered. In my little mind, politicians, law enforcement officers, or anybody that disagrees with death penalty must be benefitting or part of this illegal activities. Amen.

    • The writer of this anonymous piece is no other than Kid Tatad. The same has- been who has been advocating the National Transformation Council composed of bishops and other discredited politicians.

  4. Vic Penetrante on

    Let us sail to “good governance and effective law-enforcement” if they can be seen in the horizon.

    • I completely agree. We have very good workers but very poor managers. We have a president that cannot terminate his bad friends so what do you expect from his subordinates, bad as well. That is the root of the problem. Do not blame death penalty, blame the manager.

  5. Precisely, good governance is the key to keep and maintain a country in a straight path not only will reduce crime tremendously it will also earn respect from neighbouring countries i.e. China. The corrupt officials “and a lot of them” in the previous governance failed to do so. Majority of the crime doers are from the lower social standing and they commit a crime because they need to survive,on the other side of the spectrum the government officials who commits a crime (CORRUPTION) is because of GREED.

    So to speak the only way to kill a dragon is to cut the head off.

    Anti-Dynasty means a lot less corruption.

    There will be better politicians coming from the masses than coming from the DYNASTY.

    There will be more decent and respected politicians coming from the masses

    No execution, instead forever life sentence for ” Corrupt Officials” that’s where they belong they are the ones who created the criminals to begin with and made our country a 3rd world when in fact we are not.

  6. Venerando Desales on

    Indeed violence begets violence and hate begets hate! It is a vicious cycle of creating karma or ‘de malas’ upon ourselves. We keep wondering why everything bad is happening to ourselves despite our honest living? The state is not exempted. The state keep on repeating the errors of the past! It is because of karma! Even the errors of our ancestors affect us. We are driven to commit the same errors even though we resist committing them. This cycle must be cut! It is timely that the Church is focusing now on inter generational healing to address this evil phenomenon. It is only Jesus, through his mystical body, the Church, who can deliver us from evil! If we are proud and arrogant inside, sanctifying grace will not penetrate. We remain subjects of the evil one and continue the vicious cycle of violence, obscenities, slander, profanities, all of that ilk!