Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) President and Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas said Thursday that Filipinos need to unite against reinstating the death penalty in the country.
Villegas told CBCP News that it is a "tragedy" to rush the bill's approval in Congress before Christmas.
"In resisting the threat of the restoration of the death penalty, we cannot be disunited or indifferent," he said. "On this pro-life issue, let us truly unite. Come out and make a stand!"
The House Justice Committee approved Wednesday the bill reviving capital punishment on heinous crimes, including illegal drug activities.
Proposed methods include death by lethal injection, firing squad and hanging.
The House will hold plenary debates on the bill next week. Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez said he expects the House to approve it on second reading before the Christmas break.
Villegas also called on the Catholic faithful to join a prayer rally at the Parish of St. Dominic in San Carlos City on Dec. 12.
"I am calling on the God-loving people of the Archdiocese of Lingayen-Dagupan to come together in prayer to resist the treat of the death penalty in our country," he said in a circular. "The death penalty is contrary to our Catholic moral life. This is a conscience call to stand up for life."