|Philippines||CEBU CARDINAL BACKS JUDGE'S STANCE AGAINST DEATH PENALTY|
As seven young convincts have been sent to serve life sentences amidst protest calls for the death penalty, Cebu's Cardinal Ricardo Vidal has echoed his firm stance against the death penalty.
Judge Martin Ocampo sentenced each of the men on kidnap and illegal detention charges, which the country's legal system classifies as "heinous crimes" punishable by death.
Before the trial, Cebu newspapers quoted Ocampo as saying that he was against the death penalty. The day after the verdict President Joseph Estrada told reporters in Manila that judges who do not believe in the death penalty should resign. Department of Justice Secretary Serafin Cuevas added that Ocampo could be cited for "knowingly rendering an unjust judgment."
But a church spokesperson said Cardinal Vidal was pleased with Ocampo's decision, and that the outcome "was consistent with the Church's stand against the death penalty."
|11:45am 20/5/99 / UCA News|