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Borongan bishop appeals to Senator Pacquiao not to back reimposition of death penalty
By Ferdinand G. Patinio

MANILA, March 17 (PNA) -- The Diocese of Borongan, Samar has appealed to Senator Emmanuel "Manny" Pacquiao not to vote in favor of the death penalty.

In a letter, Bishop Crispin Varquez asked the legislator not to support the controversial bill, which members of the House of Representatives has approved and passed on third and final reading their version of the measure.

"On behalf of the Catholic clergy, religious and faithful in Eastern Samar, I make this spirited appeal to you, our Honorable Senator, not to vote for the reimposition of the death penalty," according to the one-page letter dated March 16.

With this, the Catholic prelate is hoping that Pacquiao will be enlightened by the sacrifices of the nation's national heroes, some of which are victims of the capital punishment.

"May the sacrifices of our country's forefathers- national heroes (many of them victims of the death penalty) and our faith heroes, Sts. Lorenzo Ruiz and Pedro Calungsod (themselves victims of state-sanctioned death) enlighten you to choose light over darkness, civility over barbarism, and life over death," he said.

Varquez added, "Nearly 500 years after the coming of Light of Faith to our nation, such as initiative is a costly, cowardly and shameful movement towards darkness. At a time when other older and more industrialized countries are now affirming the futility and barbarism of the Death Penalty, the Philippines can do no less."

Pacquiao together with five other senators have expressed support on the reimposition of the death penalty.

The senators who are supporting the capital punishment, based on their earlier pronouncements are: Alan Peter Cayetano, Gregorio Honasan, Panfilo Lacson, Vicente Soto III and Joel Villanueva.

A total of 217 members of the lower house have voted in favor of the measure, while 54 voted against it and 1 abstained. (PNA)

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