Manny Pacquiao cites Bible to bring back death penalty for drug criminals
The 37-year-old world boxing champion and neophyte politician gave his first privilege speech during a legislative session on Aug. 8 where he cited that God supports the death penalty and urged his colleagues to restore the measure.
"[The] death penalty is lawful, moral and sanctioned governmental action," said Pacquiao. "Having read the Bible on a regular basis, I am convinced that God is not just a God of mercy, but He is also a god of justice. So, on the issue of the death penalty, I could not help but consult the Bible."
He cited Genesis 9:6 that states, "Whoever sheds human blood, by human shall their blood be shed; for in the image of God has God made mankind."
Pacquiao also mentioned Exodus 21:12 and Romans 13:4. He believed that only through capital punishment would the drug criminals understand the earnestness of the government to drive out drugs.
The Philippine senate started its inquiry last Monday to probe the killings surrounding President Rodrigo Duterte's drug war. Since Duterte assumed office June 30, more than 1,700 suspected drug dealers and users died, including 712 shot dead by the police. Authorities arrested 10,153 and more than 600,000 people preferred to surrender rather than face death.
This prompted humanitarian groups, several politicians, and Catholic leaders to sound the alarm and call for the halt of extrajudicial killings while urging for due process and the rule of law.
Archbishop Socrates Villegas, the president of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines, fiercely condemned the violent crackdown on drugs as one that's turning the country into a "killing fields nation."
While National police chief Director-General Ronald dela Rosa defended the cops during the senate inquiry and asserted that he does not condone extrajudicial killings. Duterte himself acknowledged that some of those killed were "salvaged" or part of extrajudicial killings.
"They really fight back, I know that," AP quoted Duterte as saying. "I'm sure there are some who were salvaged, I am also sure of that," he continued.