Religious sector weighs in on the proposed death penalty

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(File photo) Members of the religious sector give their opinions on the proposed revival of the death penalty.

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — The death penalty is once again a hot topic as House Bill 4727, or the revival of capital punishment for the convicts with heinous crimes, reaches Congress plenary.

The Catholic Church was quick to react.

In a statement on Feb. 2, Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal tagle enumerated the reasons why the Catholic Church opposes capital punishment.

According to him, every human being is created in God's image and likeness. He also underscored forgiveness, hope, and salvation.

He said, "As Christians we believe that human life is God´s gift. Every human being is created in God´s image and likeness. Every human being is saved by Jesus Christ. This is the reason for forgiveness, hope and salvation. This is the reason why an ethic of life, a culture of life, is inconsistent with abortion, euthanasia, human trafficking, mutilation, and violence against innocent and vulnerable persons. Before God the source of life, we are humble. We cannot pretend to be gods."

Tagle also cited a passage from the Gospel of St. John: "I commend you, our Archdiocese, and our beloved country to God who sent Jesus to the world 'not to condemn the world but so that the world might be saved through him.'"

For Methodist Administrative Pastor Dan Miranda, the scripture clearly highlights the sanctity of life.

He said, "Sabi nga ni Jesus sa [As Jesus said in] John 10:10, "I have come that they may have life and have it to the full."

Miranda added, "From the beginning of Genesis up to Revelation there is always a resounding echo na [that] He is a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger and abounding steadfast love. So yung sanctity, value ng life eh parating ganun [So the sanctity and value of life is constant], there are always avenues for forgiveness."

But for members of Khayra Ummah Islamic Call and Guidance, the death penalty is in line with Islam's shariah law.

Islam scholar Aleem Abdulnasser Hadjiahmad said God actually ordered capital punishment in the Qur'an.

He said, "Dito po sa Chapter 1 verse 178. Ang sinabi kayong mga nananampalataya sa Allah obligado po, iniutos po sa inyo ang Law of Equality in punishment. Pagkakapantay-pantay sa punishment. Halimbawa, ikaw ay pumatay, ikaw po ay papatayin."

[Translation: It says in chapter 1, verse 178, the followers of Allah are obligated, you are ordered to follow Law of Equality in punishment. Equality in punishment. If you kill, you will be killed.]

Aleem Abdulnasser added, the Qur'an says corrupt criminals and thieves should be punished severely.

"Mga taong sumusuway sa kautusan ng Allah at sa kautusan ng propeta at sa mga taong namumuhay sa ibabaw ng lupa na corruption... Sila po ay papatayin sila, sila po ay ibabayubay po sila sa krus o bibitayan o ilayo po sila sa mga tao. Ito naman po itong mga magnanakaw, puputulin ang kanilang mga lima (hand) puputulin at kanilang mga paa. Yan po ang kanilang kapahamakan itong mga gumagawa ng masama. At sa huling araw po ay paparusahan sila ng malaking parusa."

[Translation: The people who disobey the teachings of Allah and the prophets, and those who live corrupt lives... they will be killed. They will suffer the punishment of the cross or will be hanged or be secluded from people. Thieves will have their hands and feet cut off. That is the punishment of those who do wrong. And at the end of days, they will suffer greatly.]

Islam scholar Aleem Abdulnasser says the Qur'an is all about justice and equality.

He says it also teaches about repentance, but it should come before the judgment of the sin committed.