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FULL TEXT: Party stand trumps conscience vote on death penalty – Salo

Kabayan Representative Ron Salo, a preacher, says he personally opposes the death penalty, but he cast the yes vote of the party he represents

VOTED YES. Kabayan Representative Ron Salo explains his vote in favor of the death penalty. Screengrab from congress.gov.ph

The House of Representatives approved on 3rd and final reading the death penalty bill on Tuesday, March 7 with a vote of 217-54-1.

Congressmen were given a chance to explain their votes before the plenary. Among them was Kabayan, who voted in favor of House Bill 4727.

Here is the full text of Salos’ speech as provided by his office.

***

I am a preacher. I preach God’s love, grace and redemption. I preach about the Almighty God who gives life, and who did not let people die in their sins, instead He chose to die for them, and offered mankind redemption, not only in this life, but in the life after. As such, I am of firm belief that no one, not even the State, has the right to take away life. Because if the Giver of Life Himself chose to die for people’s sin so that they may have life, who then is worthy to take that gift of life from them?

In truth, I am a member of a London-based international network on the worldwide abolition of death penalty called The Death Penalty Project. What runs through my veins and in my neurons then is the desire to oppose any move to reimpose death penalty in all and in any of its forms.

When I became a Member of this Congress, I was thrilled to note that my voice and my vote shall count in this proposed policy shift. However, I am conscious that I am in this Congress not in my personal capacity, but as representative of Kabayan Party-List, whose interest and voice I have to articulate.

After thorough discussions among the Members of the Board of Kabayan Party-List, who took into account the sentiments of its members, supporters, and the general public, the decision of the Kabayan Party-List Board is to support the reimposition of death penalty for certain heinous crimes for which a resolution was adopted by the Kabayan Party-List Board for this purpose. It was a product of a spirited and vigorous exchange of ideas and sentiments. I could not help but feel proud of our Party-List’s show of independent and patriotic stance throughout the debate, as well as the desire of the Members of our Party-List’s Board to advance the general welfare and interests of our people.

Thus, while my conscience opposes the reimposition of death penalty, I have to subordinate my personal belief and conviction to the decision of Kabayan Party-List Board. For indeed, this is the true essence of republican democracy: The voice of those we represent should be heard and not our own personal voices. As such, my vote is a qualified Yes.

God bless the Philippines.

Thank you very much. – Rappler.com