[Deathpenalty]death penalty news----worldwide
rhalperi at mail.smu.edu
Wed Feb 23 09:35:29 CST 2005
Arroyo grants 90-day reprieve to 14 death row convicts
President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has granted a 90-day reprieve to 14
death row convicts whose crimes do not include kidnapping or drug-related
cases, her spokesman announced.
"The position of the President on the capital penalty has not changed. The
President would like to impose the penalty especially on kidnapping cases
and drug-related cases, but on the others she is prepared to be a little
more lenient," Ignacio Bunye, concurrent press secretary, said in a news
Bunye said the Office of the Executive Secretary would release details of
the order soon.
The 14, whose names were withheld, were scheduled to die by lethal
injection in May, an Agence France-Presse report said.
Arroyo, a deeply religious Catholic, approved a recommendation by the
justice department that the group be granted a reprieve, Executive
Secretary Eduardo Ermita said in the same Agence France-Presse report.
They will be freed on Thursday, he added.
The announcement came amid mounting calls from crime watchdogs for Arroyo
to lift a moratorium on capital punishment amid high-profile kidnapping
Just this week, police uncovered a kidnap gang allegedly headed by an
ex-congressman, and rescued a 3-year-old boy after nearly 2 weeks in
Former congressman Mitchell Gumabao, an actor using Dennis Roldan for his
screen name, is now detained with 6 other suspects and is also being
investigated for kidnapping cases in the past.
"For the moment, the President has not considered lifting the moratorium
on the implementation of the death penalty," Ermita said.
The Philippines lifted a ban on judicial executions in 1999 during the
term of deposed president Joseph Estrada as part of the government's
Seven inmates were executed between 1999 and 2000 before Estrada imposed a
moratorium on further executions after pressure from the politically
influential Catholic Church and rights groups.
After a rash of kidnappings and murders in 2003, Arroyo lifted the
moratorium and said that the law must be followed to appease victims and
crime watchdogs. She subsequently reimposed the moratorium.
There are about 1,005 inmates on the death row, 29 of them women.
(source: INQ7 News)
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