Politics and religion always seems to mix even if in an ideal modern democracy it (ideally) shouldn't.
The issue of death penalty is a contentious one. But as it is, the general perception I have of my mostly barbaric countrymen is encapsulated in a single statement: "The fear of death deters most criminals." This is echoed in countless neighborhood conversations and street talk.
A few days ago, the CBCP (Anti Death Penalty) issued a statement noting to Born Again Christian Senator Boxer Manny Pacquiao (Pro Death Penalty), that "Christ is one of the victims of Death Penalty". The simple and concise statement strikes at the heart of this traditional nation - if it still has one. Judging by the silence of majority of the population concerning extra judicial killings, it appears that many either don't know or don't care. Ignorance and escapism is indeed bliss in this country more enthralled by the Miss Universe pageant than of the plight of thousands murdered with no day in court to prove their innocence.
I have personal experiences regarding criminals. Yes, they are mostly poor. And yes, in most times, I have applied grace and mercy. To be honest most of the time, looking back at the end results or a few years after the fact, grace and mercy made me feel weak in the eyes of others. Up to now, I have qualms wrapping my mind around the overall concept of justice and retribution as I see how communities degenerate when those who should be liable are not punished - almost as if there was no law to correct them.
Of course I also know of redemption and of the mercies of the Lord that have changed lives.
Of course I also know of the weak criminal justice system that's prone to corruption and manipulation.
But in a country that's fast growing in so many aspects, people should be made liable for the acts that they commit. A functioning and thriving democracy can only survive in such. That is the essence of freedom - it comes with responsibility and accountability. Sometimes, ordinary life reflects things that are more akin to anarchy if not a dysfunctional democracy. Government, in my personal experience, mostly touches my life come taxation time.
What do I think Manny Pacquiao's Response Should Be?
That Jesus Christ did so with foreknowledge. How can you be a victim if you willingly accept it? He knew and accepted that going to the cross is how it should be. He could have just ran or said that he's innocent. He cried in the garden of Gethsemane. He pleaded to his Father if there was another way, but of course, He already knew the answers. Jesus Christ willingly and sacrificially went to the cross. By definition, hardly a victim.
CHRISTIANITY WOULD NOT EXIST IF CHRIST DIDN'T GO TO THE CROSS. He KNEW it from the beginning! (And I'm saying this, na para bang nanduduro).
Of course, my civil, legal and political discourse would be totally different. Citing the fact that most first world nations with progressive ideals do not implement the death penalty. But hey, this is the Philippines, where discourse is often emotional and less logical.