PHILIPPINES SIGNS UN PROTOCOL BANNING RE-IMPOSITION OF DEATH PENALTY
September 21, 2006: the Philippines signed a United Nations protocol banning the re-imposition of the death penalty in the country. A ranking Department of Foreign Affairs official, who asked not to be named, said the Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights requires "presidential ratification", not Senate concurrence. "The secretary's act needs to be ratified by the president," the official said.
"The signed copy of the Optional Protocol will be forwarded by the DFA to the president for presidential ratification. This will not need Senate concurrence because this is pursuant to a congressional enactment or a law."
Signing the Second Optional Protocol on behalf of the government at UN Headquarters in New York was Foreign Affairs Secretary Alberto Romulo.
Speaking after signing the protocol, Romulo said the Philippines binds itself before the world to uphold and protect the life of individuals, and turns its back on capital punishment by signing and acceding to the Second Optional Protocol.
"For my country and its people, the sanctity of the life of the individual is a paramount value," he said. "For my government, the protection of human life is a sacred commitment. Today, the Philippines renews this commitment. With the signing of the Second Optional Protocol to the Convention on Civil and Political Rights, the Philippine government binds itself before the world to uphold and protect the life of the individual." (Sources: The Philippine Star via BBC Monitoring Asia Pacific, 22/09/2006)