PHILIPPINES: Repeal the death penalty!

Dear Friends,

The most basic of all human rights is the right to life. Nobody can be denied this right by their own government. A government that applies the death penalty – such as the Philippines – has no right to say they are promoting human rights. Four bills on the Abolition of Death Penalty are currently being debated by the Philippines Congress. Therefore we encourage you to take a few short minutes to write to the Philippines government in support of the appeal by the Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates that we are forwarding below. This appeal is also supported by women’s rights advocates in Philippines who still take this position in the case of criminals who commit violence against women, as the death penalty is in all cases wrong, and in any case does not work as the deterrant to crime it is claimed to be. Reform of the Philippines prosecution system, which fails to act properly on many complaints of rape or other violence, is the real solution to delivering justice to victims and lowering crime rates.

in solidarity

Urgent Appeals Desk

Asian Human Rights Commission




The Philippine government is adherent to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and its covenants. As such, we are a signatory to these internationally recognized instruments.

The 1987 Philippine Constitution’s Bill of Rights seeks the abolition of the death penalty, unless for compelling reasons. Compelling reasons mean the worst crimes, such as rape and kidnap for ransom. Worst crimes in the Philippines are heinuous crimes. They are grievous and hateful offenses by reason.

The Philippines is one among the 91 countries implementing the death penalty. The Congress enacted Republic Act 7659, imposing death penalty for heinous crimes in 1994. It has executed Leo Echegaray (who was convicted of Rape) on February 5, 1999 by lethal injection. Three others, namely Jesus Morallos, Dante Pianbiong and Archie Bulan, were executed on July 8, 1999.

In November 2000, deposed President Joseph Estrada declared a moratorium on executions by lethal injection. In May 2001, the moratorium was lifted by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo commencing the execution by August 2002. Two convicted kidnappers on the row will be executed. However, Republic Act No. 8177 prescribing lethal injection as the mode of execution in the country provides that the death sentences shall be carried out not earlier than one year nor later than eighteen months after the judgment has become final and executory.

At present, the Civil, Political and Human Rights Committee of Congress is meeting to deliberate on House Bill Nos. 0920, 1396, 1460 and 2036 Abolishing the Death Penalty Law. PAHRA for one believes that the recent Supreme Court decision to revoke more than half of the death sentences manifests that the death penalty law is flawed. Thus the need to expedite its repeal.


In 1994, the Philippine Congress enacted R.A. 7659 which puts into law the DEATH PENALTY LAW. It made the Philippines one among the 91 countries implementing summary execution thru the use of lethal injection.

At present, there are more than one thousand death row convicts awaiting execution. Execution commenced in 1999 through the execution by lethal injection of Leo Echegaray, follwed by Jesus Morallos, Dante Pianbiong and Archie Bulan.

A moratorium was declared in November 2000 but was lifted in May 2001. Two death row convicts are scheduled to be executed in August 2000. Initiatives from the human rights groups and Congress calls for the stop of the execution and open the death penalty law for review and work for the filing of the repeal of the death penalty law.


Write polite letters to put international pressure for the repeal of the Death Penalty Law.


Dear Sir/Madam:

We are deeply concerned over the lifting of the moratorium of the death penalty law and the resumption of its execution in August 2002.

We believe in the sanctity of human life and the dignity of human person. Imposing death penalty is not a solution to abate criminality.

We would appreciate if the death penalty law is repealed as soon as possible.

Yours sincerely



Her Excellency Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo
President of the Philippines
MalacaƱang Palace
JP Laurel Street, San Miguel
Manila 1005
Fax: +632 736 1010 or +632 733-2107
Email: or

Hon. Hernando Perez
Secretary, Department of Justice
DOJ Building
Padre Faura
Manila 1004 Philippines
Fax: +632 521 1614

Hon. Jose C. De Venecia, Jr.
Speaker of the House of Representatives
Batasan Complex, Constitution Hills
Quezon City NCR Philippines
Fax:(2) 931 5556

Franklin M. Drilon
Senate President
Rm 606, 6th Floor
Senate of the Philippines,
Roxas Blvd.,
Pasay City Philippines
Fax:(2) 552 6876


Congresswoman Rosetta Ann Rosales
House of Representatives
Batasan Hills, Quezon City
Email Address:

Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates
10-b Malingap St., Teacher s Village
Diliman, Quezon City
Email address:

For inquiries, send email or fax to:

10-B Malingap St., Teacher s Village
Diliman, Quezon City

Sincerely yours,

Luzviminda M. Fanlo
Deputy Secretary General for International Affairs

*** Please send a copy of your letter to AHRC Urgent Appeals:

Email: <>
Fax: +(852) – 26986367

Please contact the Urgent Appeals coordinator if you require more

information or wish to report human rights violations.


AHRC Urgent Appeals Programme
Asian Human Rights Commission
Unit D, 7th Floor, Mongkok Commercial Centre,
16 – 16B Argyle Street, Kowloon, HONGKONG
Tel: +(852) – 2698-6339
Fax: +(852) – 2698-6367

Please contact the AHRC Urgent Appeals Coordinator if you require further information or to make requests for further appeals.



Document Type : Forwarded Urgent Appeal
Document ID : FA-07-2002
Countries : Philippines,
Issues : Death penalty,