Lakbay-Buhay Pilgrimage


Cagayan de Oro to Senate, May 4-24, 2017

A 21-day multi-sectoral march-caravan from Cagayan de Oro to Manila to stop the

Death Penalty bills from passing the Senate




On May 4, 2017, 12 core pilgrims each representing farmers, indigenous peoples, labor, urban poor and other basic sectors of society will start their cross-country 21-day march-caravan to campaign and help form public opinion against the pending bills in both Houses of Congress seeking the re-imposition of death penalty in the country. The 12 pilgrims are supported by various sectoral organizations, social movements, and faith-based groups.

We urge all Filipinos to join the Lakbay-Buhay campaign as we express our unified opposition to the death penalty bills for they are contrary to the principles of human dignity and restorative justice, in violation of existing international treaties, and are anti-poor.

  1. The death penalty runs contrary to the principle of restorative justice, and corrupts the universal value for human life and dignity.

We believe that human societies have evolved through centuries affirming in various international deliberations and declarations the importance of human life and dignity.Inspired and motivated by religious traditions and universal human principles, people across the globe recognize the inviolable right to life that is intrinsic in every human being regardless of age, gender, religion, or creed. This is the belief that ultimately, human beings are not mere means to ends but ends in themselves that must be protected. We believe therefore, that the task of governments is to promote an environment that recognizes the good in every person, one that sees laws not as a means to destroy human beings it is sworn to serve and protect but to put a check on his or her tendency to do evil, and to restore erring persons to their humanity.

Thus we believe that the irrevocable penalty of death, a penalty supposedly rendered to “correct a wrongdoing”, eradicates the possibility for the human person who committed wrong to return to the fullness of his or her humanity, towards his or her goodness as a whole person. The death penalty also places full accountability on the person who committed wrong, and not primarily on the structures and institutions that caused such wrongdoing to take place. We echo the global trend towards greater humanization that is demonstrated by the increasing number of countries since the 1980s, now 141 or 2/3 of all countries, abolishing death penalty in law and practice.

  1. The death penalty is unlawful as it violates existing international treaties where the Philippine Government is signatory to.

The Re-imposition of death penalty violates our obligations to the Second Optional Protocol on International Convention on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), an International Treaty which the Philippines ratified in November 2007. According to an international expert, “the Philippines committed itself to the total, absolute, and permanent abolition of the death penalty… [The] passage of any of the bills will trigger the international responsibility of the Philippines, and [the country shall] commit an internationally wrongful act”.  Should the country re-impose the death penalty, the Philippines will face international scrutiny and condemnation especially as it agreed to and signed international treaties and conventions.

These violations also constitute economic repercussions. In a bilateral agreement with the European Union under the Generalized System of Preferences Plus (GSP+), the assurance that death penalty is abolished is prerequisite in maintaining import and export arrangements. If the death penalty is re-imposed, the country puts at risk about $12.8B worth of trade consisting of about 6,000 export products (fruits, coconut oil, tuna and other products). These possible economic repercussions will primarily affect farmers and fisherfolk and their livelihoods.

Furthermore, various academic studies have already established that there is no empirical evidence to support the claim that death penalty deters crime. In fact during the period it was re-imposed in the Philippines, the country saw an increase of 15.3% in crime rate.Thus we believe that it is not only unlawful and in violation of international law—it is also ineffective in deterring crime.

  1. The death penalty primarily targets the poor and oppressed

Finally, given the weaknesses of our justice system and the prevalence of impunity, where those who have capital escape punishment while the poor are often jailed and placed in inhumane conditions, a bill re-imposing death penalty will directly victimize and harm the poor. Without access to good lawyers, the possibility of the innocent poor being jailed and sentenced to death is high. We need not look further from the Christian example of Jesus Christ who was victim to an unfair and unjust trial and was sentenced to death more than two thousand years ago. The proposed death penalty bills mirror this possibility—that the innocent may be put to death, and more so, placing at the forefront the poor and oppressed.

We therefore recognize the re-imposition of death penalty as nothing more than inhuman, illegal, ineffective, and anti-poor. The drug threat, however serious the government has painted it to be, can never justify the moral, social, legal and economic cost of such a re-imposition.

We thus, call on the Filipino people to exercise their sovereign right to oppose such a measure now pending in the Senate. We urge you to join and support the Lakbay-Buhay march-caravan public education campaign in 14 cities of the country.  We pray for our Senators to decide based on conscience and reason and to side with the poor on this matter by rejecting the death penalty.


Here are 5 things you can do to help us on social media:

1. LIKE AND FOLLOWour official campaign Facebook and Twitter accounts. Updates on the campaign are posted on a daily basis. Please do share these posts on your personal and organizational accounts




2. INVITE FRIENDSto like and follow our Facebook page

Visit the Facebook page and click the button “…” beside SHARE. Click “INVITE FRIENDS” and choose as many contacts to increase our likes on the page.


3. UPLOAD AS PHOTOour main poster for the campaign with the following caption (you may write your own caption or copy paste)

#LakbayBuhay #JunkDeathPenalty

Ako si (insert name) mula sa (place of residence or affiliation) at tumututol ako sa pagbabalik ng parusang kamatayan sa Pilipinas. Manindigan para sa buhay, at ipaglaban ang demokrasyang kinikilala ang dignidad ng bawat tao!

Hinihimok namin ang aming mga kapuwa Pilipino na sumama sa aming kampanyang Lakbay-Buhay kung saan ipahihiwatig namin ang aming nagkakaisang oposisyon laban sa parusang kamatayan, isang panukalang labag sa mga prinsipiyo ng dignidad na kaloob sa bawat tao at hustisyang nagbibigay-buhay; isang panukalang labag sa mga pandaigdigang kasunduan, at lalong inaapi ang mga mahihirap.


4. SIGN AND SHARE the petition at


5. DONATE RESOURCES for the campaign so many of our fellow farmers, fishers, workers, and urban poor, can also participate in the campaign. Pls. contact Soc Banzuela of Lakbay-Buhay Coalition Resource Mobilization Committee (cp 0917 541 0541).



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