MANILA, Jan. 26, 2017— Catholic bishops voiced grief over the execution of a Filipina domestic helper in Kuwait and called on Filipinos to reconsider their stance on the revival of the death penalty in the country.
The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines expressed their sorrow for the execution of Jakatia Pawa yesterday and said it should serve as a clear message for Filipino to reject the capital punishment.
“The CBCP condoles most sincerely with the family of the late Jakatia Pawa, our fellow Filipino, who was executed in Kuwait,” Villegas said.
Innocent to the end?
“The fact that Jakatia protested her innocence to the end of her life only underscores the abhorrence at the death penalty and the sadness that we feel at Jakatia’s death should make us all advocates against the death penalty,” he said.
Pawa was accused of killing her employer’s 22-year old daughter in 2007.
Until her death, the Filipina maintained her innocence saying that she had no motive to kill the girl.
“It is sad and depressing news. A life was lost. A dream was shattered. Whatever region or religion she is a Filipina. She is one of us. And we are affected,” said Bishop Ruperto Santos, who chairs the CBCP’s Commission on Migrants and Itinerant People.
No moral authority
He said restoring the death penalty in the country puts overseas Filipino workers on death row abroad at risk.
“The government should not push through with death penalty. If there will be penalty in our country, we will lose any moral authority and legality to ask clemency for our Filipinos who are sentenced to death,” Santos said.
The prelate also called on the Duterte administration to provide assistance to other OFWs who facing execution abroad.
“There are still those imprisoned. Government should not be complacent nor rely on last two minutes. They have to act, decisively and swiftly, for those who are incarcerated,” he added.
According to the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), there are still some 88 Filipinos that are in death row abroad. (CBCPNews)