BLOOD FOR VOTES? AKBAYAN solon joins last-ditch effort to put executions on hold

AKBAYAN Party-List today joined other human rights groups and individuals in a picket at the Supreme Court calling for a stay in the execution of convicts Roberto Lara and Roderick Lacayan, scheduled at the end of the week.

AKBAYAN Party-list Representative Etta Rosales, who is Chairperson of the House Committee on Civil, Political and Human Rights, reiterated the circumstances surrounding the executions. PGMA earlier lifted the moratorium on the implementation of capital punishment after a spate of kidnappings outraged the Filipino-Chinese communities.

The move was largely seen as a ploy to generate support for the president’s run in the May elections. But Rosales maintains that her death penalty stance has done little to improve the president’s standing in the polls. “If anything it only highlighted her opportunism and politics of expediency.”

The lady legislator said all means must be exhausted to put the executions on hold, and eventually to have the death penalty law abolished. “With a few weeks left before the 12th Congress goes into recess, we might not be able to abolish the death penalty,” Rosales said “so the war should be brought to Malacaņang’s gates.” Pressure should be maintained on the President, and if barring that, a petition for certiorari may be an option, she said.

The AKBAYAN solon explained that the re-imposition of the death penalty taints the country’s human rights record as it violates the first cardinal principle of human rights which is the right to life. Rosales joins other groups like the Mamamayang Tutol sa Bitay in praying for a last-minute change of heart in the President and to pardon the convicts awaiting execution.