15 May 2017
Dear Members of the Xavier School and ERDA Group communities,
As I celebrated the gift of life last March 22, I was saddened by the passage of the death penalty in the House of Representatives (HOR) with a vote of 217 in favor, 54 against, and 1 abstention. On that day, I believe that we found ourselves taking a step back from our vision of a just and humane society, a step back from believing that the problems of criminality and justice in the country can be solved without spilling blood.
As the culture of death threatens to engulf our society, we are called to go against this tide and instead, promote a culture of life and respect for human dignity. To do this, we must continue to say no to the re-imposition of the death penalty.
On the day that the death penalty was passed in the HOR, citizens went out to the streets to protest and express their indignation towards a policy that is inherently wrong. As our battle against the death penalty goes to the Senate, I encourage the community to harness that fervor, and direct it towards meaningful and collective actions that will convince our leaders to go against ineffective policies that are inhumane and are against the protection of human life and dignity.
I call on the community to join and support movements against the re-imposition of the death penalty. I am endorsing this open letter directed to the senators An Open Letter to the Senators of the Republic of the Philippines and which can also be found in bit.ly/LettertoSenatorsNOtoDeathPenalty which is a petition for our leaders to vote against the death penalty. I encourage you to sign on to show your support
To continue our mandate of educating our constituents, I also encourage our faculty and staff to begin dialogues and discussion groups with each other and with students to spread awareness on the issue and to deepen understanding on the value and sacredness of human life.
We live at a time when human life is too easily devalued. While remaining committed to justice for all victims of heinous crimes, we must also strengthen our commitment to the Christian values that we strive to impart in our educational system. Life is sacred, and no one, not even the State, should have the power to take the life of a human person, no matter how grave the offense is.
Fr. Aristotle C. Dy, SJ, Ph.D.
President, Xavier School
President, The ERDA Group