Dec 23, 2016

Di bawal ang bitay! UP Diliman’s Avecilla corrects CHR: Constitution allows passage of death penalty law

Di bawal ang bitay! UP Diliman’s Avecilla corrects CHR: Constitution allows passage of death penalty law

Contrary to the Commission on Human Rights’ claim, Congress won’t be violating the Constitution if it passes a law reinstating the death penalty, University of the Philippines Diliman broadcast communication professor Victor Avecilla said.

In his The Standard column published Tuesday, Avecilla said Section 19, Article III of the Constitution only prohibits the imposition of excessive fines, degrading or inhuman punishment inflicted.

As for death penalty, the Charter provides that it shall not be imposed “unless, for compelling reasons involving heinous crimes, the Congress hereafter provides for it.”


Avecilla, a lawyer, said the mention of death penalty in the same provision as the prohibition on inhumane punishment shows “it was never the intention of the Constitution to consider the death penalty as a cruel, degrading, or inhuman punishment.”

“Every freshman law student knows that when a particular act is explicitly allowed by the Constitution, it is impossible for that act to be considered unconstitutional. Therefore, since the Constitution allows Congress to impose the death penalty for heinous crimes, the death penalty cannot be unconstitutional,” he said.

While the Philippines signed the international protocol on the abolition of the death penalty, and the Constitution adopts the generally accepted principles of international law as part of the law of the land, Avecilla said the Charter always prevails over any foreign treaty.

Source: Politiko


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