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Death Penalty has been described as ‘cruel and unnatural’, wherein cruel is being confused with ‘evil’ in this context. The Capital punishment is not intrinsically ‘evil’ for ‘cruel’ and evil are two different words, but because they both inflict pain they are mistaken for each other. Evil pertains to pure malevolence and intention to harm, but capital punishment bestows retribution and not revenge, for punishments are meant to be just, which is so in order to teach a lesson.
There are no punishments which do not involve psychological or physical pain. On this day, I would like to raise a subject for consideration of the Capital Punishment in the Philippines for certain heinous crimes. The Capital Punishment has been first introduced in the Philippines by the Spaniards in 1521, continuously being practiced until its prohibition under the 1987 Constitution with the exception for compelling reasons. It was then restored by President Fidel Ramos, resumed in 1991, and again suspended on June 24, 2006 via Republic Act No. 9346 signed by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. Now, allow me to propose some heinous crimes eligible, if not, mandatory for Death penalty. First and foremost: crimes accompanied with the death of the victim wherein there is evident premeditation of and/or satisfaction for the offender, such as kidnapping for ransom and gun-for-hire. Second: murder which must be committed repeatedly by the same offender towards different persons. Third: rape, wherein the victim is rendered with permanent psychological or physical damage, and lastly, Parricide, a deed resulting to the death of a direct blood ascendant or descendant. Approximately twelve(12) years, three(3) months, and eight(8) days have passed since the punishment for these crimes are reduced to reclusion perpetua.
More than twelve(12) years of a feeble judicial system, twelve(12) years of illusionary justice, and twelve(12) years of erroneous retribution had already passed. And today, this representation therefore appeals to this court for such amendment addressing the imposition of the Capital punishment. Your Honor, this concludes my opening statement. (Your Honor, may I proceed?)People of the jury, it’s lenient to say that we should forgive the offender for whatever crimes he have committed since we perceive that the criminal is a fellow ‘human being’. We thought that they are ‘humans’ who have rights that we should respect and who deserve another chance. But what justice does it serve the victim? Justice should not be of our personal conscience but of all humanity’s, it should be served fairly and rightly without bias. But does a person who had violated another person’s right, a person who had completely abandoned his humanity, deserve such forgiveness; such consideration? Let us open our eyes to the state of our society today; to the sad truth of rising criminality and injustice. Are we not aware that at least thirty-three(33) people are killed everyday? Are we not aware that in every fifty-three(53) minutes there is a child or a woman who is being raped, wherein ten(10) of them being children? If not then we must be so. We must open our eyes to the viciousness of criminals in today’s society. Because if we keep on being ‘considerate’, criminals would continuously take advantage of our frail justice system. Even Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago expressed her support, stating that she is seriously reconsidering her previous decision and that the influence of the Catholic Church might have swayed that decision of hers.
Crime is very prominent in our country today for criminals are becoming less and less afraid of being convicted and put in prison. But, if Capital punishment is re-imposed, fear would be a barrier to the liberty of killing. It will serve as ammunition for justice and deterrence for crime. Because who, in the right mind, would perform a deed with the knowledge of death as its consequence? Sane people would think twice before committing such crimes simply due to the natural fear of death and its effect on the people affiliated to them. It will grant us an assurance that the convict will never be able to do the same acts again. They would never be able to escape, they would never be able to kill again or rape once more, not even the prison guards and not even their jailmates. Prisons would be less cramped as opposed to the 612% congestion rate. Diseases wouldn’t be easily spread and other prisoners who have a lower sentence wouldn’t suffer more. Because these convicts would never be able to harm anyone again.
In actuality, it serves as the highest form of protection, because how do soldiers defend the state and himself? Is it not by killing? We are being protected through elimination of threat, only it is clad in medals, flags, and honors. Thus by analogy, it is the only way to defend innocent lives from such atrocities. Now why should the justice system prolong the death of these twisted murderers? What is the use of just waiting for them to die? Death is the only certain possibility in human lives. And even if the convict did say sorry, it will no longer bring the victim back. We cannot even say if they would be genuinely regretting their actions. And where do we think the budget for their basic necessities come from? Whose pockets ache especially now with the new TRAIN law and a surging inflation rate? We will never be able to say if Mark Montes, a multiple murderer would repent and never repeat his actions. Can we really say that the people behind the Vizconde MAssacre or other Massacres deserve another chance despite knowing the atrocity of their deeds?Who gave them such rights: the right to rape, the right to kill, the right to take an innocent life? No one. For it is a matter of choice. Whatever their social standings might be, it is still a matter of choice; a matter of free will. Thank you and good afternoon.
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