Saturday, April 9, 2005                   
     
Pinoy in Spanish........... congress attends.......... int'l..parliament meet
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He urges review of death penalty

      A SPANISH parliamentarian with Filipino roots, Jorge Moragas Sanchez, who is a member of the opposition in the Spanish congress, is among the legislators attending the International Parliamentarians Union (IPU) in Manila.

       Moragas, a lawyer and an opposition congressman of the Commission on Foreign Affairs and the Cooperation for Development for European Union of the Congress, revealed his Filipino ancestry.

      Moragas, who traces his roots to Baguio City-based painter Muchi Dampierre, is among the members of the Spanish parliament, which is urging the Philippines to consider the abolition of the death penalty. Dampierre, a society darling in the local scene from the 1950s to the 1970s is now 92 years old and lives in Manila already.

      "I am very proud of this country," said Moragas, whose mother was born in the Philippines. Moragas 

Moragas also said his personal goal is "to defend the values and principles that Spanish society share with Filipinos".

      Spain is responsible for handing much of the country's laws and until the turn of the century, much of the Philippine Supreme Court's decision had been written in Spanish.

      Spain itself had officially abolished the capital penalty in 1978 when the new Spanish constitution was passed.

      The last execution in that country occurred in October 1975, when three members of the anarchist group ETA were put to death under the Franco regime.    

      Moragas, along with several members of the Spanish parliament, were in Manila to attend the IPU and had called the audience with some select members of the local press to express their support for the review and lifting of the death sentence imposed by the Supreme Court (SC) on a Spanish national, Francisco "Paco" Larraņaga, who was convicted for the kidnapping-rape-slay of the Chiong sisters in Cebu.

      The celebrated case on appeal before the SC involves an appeal by the family of Larraņaga who claimed Larraņaga was out with friends in Manila when the crime happened and that there had been unfair trial by publicity in the case.

      "He (Larraņaga) could have fled the country when he was initially accused but he chose not to do so because he is innocent," said Senator Iņaki Anasagasti Olabeaga, another member of the Spanish parliament. (BBP)

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