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(From The Nation (Thailand))
Byline: The Nation.
On June 6 the Philippine Senate and House of Representatives both voted to repeal the death penalty.
The Philippines now joins the worldwide trend towards abolition, becoming the 125th nation to repeal the penalty.
In 1987 the Philippines set a historic precedent by becoming the first Asian country in modern times to abolish the penalty for all crimes. However, it was reintroduced in late 1993 for 46 different offences, not because it was a just punishment but rather because it was a high-profile and desperate remedy for quenching public anger at the rising tide of unchecked crime.
Executions resumed in 1999, until former President Joseph Estrada in 2000 announced a moratorium, which President Gloria Arroyo has continued throughout her presidency.
On April 15 Arroyo commuted all death sentences to life imprisonment in what is believed to be the largest ever commutation of death sentences in modern times. Four days later she marked legislation to repeal the death penalty as urgent.
By a vote of 119-20 …