Wednesday, April 19, 2006
Death penalty is ‘justice
Chiong wants President to implement law
Because she believes that imposing the death penalty on a convicted person
is justice served, Thelma Chiong, as a mother and as vice president of a
nationwide anti-crime group, yesterday wrote President Arroyo and spoke
“What is justice?” she asked, when the
President seems to view remedies imposed by criminal law from the point of
view of the criminal and not the victims.
President Arroyo announced last week her
intent to commute all final and executory death sentences to life terms
and save all death row convicts from capital punishment.
Francisco “Paco” Larrañaga, Josman
Aznar, Rowen Adlawan, Alberto Caño and Ariel Balansag—five of the seven
men convicted of the Chiong case—can avail themselves of the
President’s new policy.
“My daughters were kidnapped, handcuffed
with masking tape, raped, and Marijoy thrown (down) a 150-meter ravine.
Until now, my other daughter, Jackie, is still missing. What punishment
does the seven drug-crazed men accused of killing my daughters deserve?”
Chiong posed in the letter she also faxed to Sun.Star Cebu.
She said the President should simply
implement the law, instead of being swayed by lobby groups.
Unlike the convicts, she pointed out, they
didn’t have such lobby groups—composed of psychologists, religious
organizations, even priests and nuns—when they filed the criminal
complaint that subsequently led to the conviction of the accused.
But as the CAV, which intends to schedule
an audience with the chief executive, bemoan the President’s new policy,
the Spanish Government is ....
MOTHER'S LAMENT. She said the President
should not let herself be swayed by lobby groups. Chiong lost her
daughters Marijoy and Jackie, who were kidnapped and raped in July 1997.
Marijoy was thrown down a ravine, while Jackie is still missing. Seven men
were convicted of the crime, five of them sent to death row.
heaping praises on the Arroyo administration.
his report to the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) home office,
Philippine Ambassador to Madrid Joseph Bernardo said that Spain expressed
“its most sincere gratitude to the Philippine Government, particularly
to President Arroyo,” for commuting the death penalty of Larrañaga.
DFA records show that Larrañaga is also a
citizen of Spain, on account of his father’s nationality.
Bernardo report, quoting the Directorate General for External
Communication of the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation,
read: “The Government is pleased with the measure of commuting the death
penalty by the President of the Philippines, which will benefit Francisco
Javier Larrañaga Gonzales.”
“The situation of Mr. Larrañaga has been
the object of maximum attention on the part of different institutions of
the Spanish State that have been all the time interested in his fate
before the Philippine authorities; it will be recalled in this sense the
messages issued by His Majesty the King and the President of the
government, the interest of the Parliament, and the personal
representations of the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, the
Minister of Defense and the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs,” it
“The Spanish Government wishes to express
its most sincere gratitude to the Government of the Philippines, in
particular to its President, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo,” it said. (KNR)