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Philippine Bishops skeptical about suspension of death penalty

A commission of the Philippine bishops welcomes the President's suspension of death penalty executions in the country but cautions the Church to remain vigilant because the issue involves politics.

"We are happy that somehow (President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo) has acceded to our request," Rodolfo Diamante, executive secretary of the Commission on Prison Pastoral Care, told UCA News after the suspension was announced earlier this month.

But as the penalty has "always been a political issue," the Church will "continue criticising Arroyo if she changes her mind."

According to Diamante, the Church has consistently asked the president to stay executions because the punishment "does not have any moral ground and does not serve any purpose."

UCA News

15 Oct 2002