De Oro students stage noise barrage over death penalty

Students and teachers of Xavier University stage a noise barrageto protest the House of Representatives’ decision to reinstate the death penalty for drug-related crimes. MindaNews photo by Froilan Gallardo

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (MindaNews / 8 March) – Students and teachers of Xavier University blew whistles and staged a noise barrage outside their school here to protest the House of Representatives’ decision to reinstate the death penalty for drug-related crimes.

Fr. Roberto Yap, S.J., XU president, led the students and teachers in blowing whistles and urging drivers to honk their horns for three hours outside the school campus Wednesday afternoon.

“We are very disappointed that the House of Representatives voted to reimpose the death penalty. We hope the Senate will not,” he said.

Yap said there are three “strong” reasons why death penalty should not be reinstated again: first, many studies have shown that death penalty does not deter crime; second, there is a possibility that extrajudicial killings will be legitimized, and lastly, life is sacred.

“Only God can take away life,” he said.

In a statement distributed to the press here, Fr. Antonio Moreno, S.J. , provincial superior of the Philippine Society of Jesus, deplored “the myth of the death penalty’s effect against crime”.

He said death penalty, if implemented in a flawed judicial system, would only affect the poor.

“It only promotes a culture of death that desensitizes the youth to violence and revenge,” the statement said.

Four congressmen representing Misamis Oriental and Cagayan de Oro – Rep. Maximo Rodriguez (2nd district, Cagayan de Oro); Rep. Rolando Uy (1st district, Cagayan de Oro); Rep. Juliette Uy (2nd district, Misamis Oriental); and Rep. Pedro Unabia (1st district, Misamis Oriental) – all voted yes to reimpose the death penalty.

Many netizens from Cagayan de Oro and Misamis Oriental said the representatives did not consult them on the death penalty bill when asked in Facebook.

“They never did, of course. We are nobody compared to their petrifying fear of getting defunded of their almighty pork,” Philippine Daily Inquirer columnist Antonio Roa Montalvan II, said,

“No, kay doble gasto na on their part. Wala pa sila kabawi sa election expenses” (No, because that would be double spending on their part. They haven’t recouped their election expenses yet), said Francis Pilapil. (Froilan Gallardo / MindaNews)