Scrap Death Penalty BillAt no time have been our human rights, democracy and Constitutional freedoms under attack more directly than today. We must collectively resist and call for the greater protection of our democratic rights as institutions designed to uphold them are instead at the forefront of eroding these very same principles enshrined in the highest law of the land.

Underlined by thousands of unresolved, extra-judicial murders, we see the resurgence of cruel, degrading, inhumane measures that cheapen life and glorify death as a solution to the complex problems that we face as a society.

The reinstatement of the death penalty, and this time through lethal injection, firing squad or hanging -- is a gigantic step backward unheard of in a democratic society. The coverage of heinous crimes to be committed is problematic because it has moved the line farther on what infractions are defined as heinous.
The bill reinstating the death penalty is a heartless, bloodthirsty measure.

The situation becomes even more dire when this is combined with a proposed bill that seeks to lower the minimum age of criminal responsibility from the current 15 to 9. Instead of rehabilitation, legislators are giving up on our children and would rather send them to jail, oblivious to the fact that children who lose  their way are often victims themselves of other criminals.

These measures seeks to institutionalize cruelty and barbarism.

It is even sadder that legal remedies are now conveniently ignored, suspects, and even innocent civilians, including children, continue to die in the hands of unknown assailants and in dubious police operations.

Impunity is the rule nowadays, and cruelty is its weapon.

The poor have clearly borne the brunt of these attacks, and to add insult to injury, the biggest criminal of all had just been buried as a hero.

Akbayan demands not only a stop to the killings, but the observance of the rights of everyone to due process, to legal counsel, to a fair trial and a speedy resolution of their cases.

Akbayan demands that the Duterte government stop its violent rhetoric and desist from coddling cops who violate the laws they are sworn to uphold.

Akbayan demands that the Duterte  administration exercise political will to prosecute and jail the big time crooks behind the criminality and the drug problem.

Akbayan calls on the Duterte administration to turn its back from supporting impunity by turning its back on supporting the fraudulent attempts of the Marcoses to return to power.

Akbayan joins the rest of the Philippines in its call to reject the cruelty bills on death penalty and lowering the age of criminal responsibility.

These measures, these events erode the freedoms we enjoy today and which we spent decades fighting for. They should not and will not be dismantled by the obsession of one man. We must collectively express our outrage and demand for genuine change. ###