Cardinal Sin Seeks Clemency for Death-Row Convicts

MANILA, Philippines, AUG. 29, 2002 ( The archbishop of Manila called on President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo to give clemency to more than 2,000 death row convicts, the Misna agency reported.

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Cardinal Jaime Sin also urged Congress to abolish the capital punishment in the country.

“Following the example of Pope John Paul II, I appeal for clemency for those condemned to death,” the cardinal said today in a communiqué. “The death penalty is not a solution. The future generations will surely remember us if we spare no effort to prevent criminality without resorting to capital punishment.”

On Wednesday, Arroyo postponed the death penalty of three convicted rapists, Rolando Padayawon, Eddie Sernadilla and Filomeno Serrano, for 90 days, to give her office time to study clemency pleas. The three were among more than 20 convicts scheduled for execution this year.

The Philippines reintroduced the death sentence in 1994 after having abolished it in 1987. Arroyo suspended the death penalty after she took office in January 2001, but ended the moratorium last October, saying the ban had emboldened criminals.

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