Philippines; Revival of Death Penalty in Talks After Gruesome Murder of Teen
Warning: Graphic description and gruesome details contained in the article. (警告：この記事には刺激的な表現が含まれています）
Cebu City,Philippines – A lifeless body of a 16-year old girl, naked from waist down, was found in an empty lot on March 11, 2019. She was identified as a 9th grader and a church-collector at a nearby church where she lived. She was not only half-naked but her face was also skinned, showing her skull and stabbed multiple times. It was later found out that some of her internal organs were also missing such as her trachea, esophagus and tongue. The police investigated whether she was also raped.
The victim went missing after a mass she attended on the evening of March 10 and was later found at a 2-hectare property 500m away from the nearest residential area. She was positively identified by her mother with the clothes she was wearing. A lone witness said he saw her walking around 2am and was pursued by 3 men in a motorcycle, grabbed her until she fell then raped and killed her. A suspect was then nabbed and according to police investigations, he was also involved in a murder of a senior citizen at another city with similar method of skinning to the bones.The suspect admitted to being under the influence of illegal drugs and was alleged to be a member of a cult.
This gruesome murder sparked outrage from the masses and urged for the revival of death penalty to heinous crimes such as rape and murder but government said the sole case was not enough to revive capital punishment.
In the past, aside from the US, the Philippines used electric chair and reverted to firing squad until its abolition in 1987. The death penalty was reinstated in 1993 which used lethal injection as the sole method of execution. It was later abolished in 2006 under Gloria Macapagal Arroyo’s regime.
During his campaign, the then candidate, now the president Rodrigo Duterte supports death penalty by hanging. He wants capital punishment for criminals involved in illegal drugs, gun-for-hire syndicates and ‘heinous crimes’ such as rape, robbery and car theft where victims are murdered. A bill reinstating death penalty was formulated but didn’t get enough votes to pass.
In a recent poll, around 60% of Filipinos are in favor of death penalty. (Note that majority of the population are Christians or Catholics and these church beliefs don’t support death penalty.)
Update: The suspect earlier was proven to have nothing to do with the crime but jailed nonetheless for other crimes. Another suspect however was caught and turned out that he’s the victim’s ex-boyfriend and he’s only 17 years old.The police tagged the case a ‘crime of passion”.
Let’s talk with aimtalk teachers:
- What’s your opinion about capital punishment or death penalty?
- What punishment do you think should be meted out to the criminals of the crime mentioned in the article?
- What do you think is the worst human crime? Why do you think so?
- What measures should be done by individuals to keep safe in the streets or outside the homes?
revive(v): bring something back after it has not been used (revival: a process of reviving)
heinous(adj): very shocking and immoral
reinstate(v): revive something such as a law, system, or rule.
lethal(adj): causing death