Pacquiao backs the death penalty
PHILIPPINE boxing icon-turned-senator Manny Pacquiao used the Bible to defend restoring the death penalty for drug traffickers as “approved by God”, backing a controversial proposal of President Rodrigo Duterte.
The eight-division champion and devout evangelical Christian used his first senate speech to argue for capital punishment, calling it lawful and moral “especially in the eyes of God”.
“When the government punishes, it’s not an individual act. That’s approved by God. That’s what the Bible says,” Mr Pacquiao said.
“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.”
Mr Pacquiao was elected to the senate in May on the back of his popularity as a sports star among Filipinos.
Mr Duterte has declared a bloody crackdown on crime, especially illegal drugs, telling police to shoot drug suspects.
Since Mr Duterte assumed office on June 30, police have reported killing more than 400 drug suspects while the country’s largest broadcaster ABSCBN put the death toll at 852 to include summary executions.
In Washington, the United States expressed concern over the extrajudicial killings of drug suspects in the Philippines, a key US ally.
Elizabeth Trudeau, a State Department spokesperson, said on August 8 that the US was “concerned”.
“We believe in rule of law. We believe in due process.” –