The Last Resort, Capital Punishment for Rapists (Death Penalty)

By: Maria_L in Editorial

Mahatma Gandhi once said "Eye for an eye only ends up making the whole world blind." An influential spiritual leader and political activist who was a strong believer of non-violence approach on demanding for change. He was convinced that the power of peaceful methods can urge social changes. I used to believe that too until recently.

August 14, I woke to my social media news feeds on reports of a lifeless body of a 26-year-old young woman who was raped, killed and left floating in some rice field in Bulacan. Like most people who expressed their anguish towards this tragic event, I felt the same way but mostly; I was frightened. I am fearful for my own safety, for my sister's, for my girlfriends' and for all the women out there. How safe are we when we go out into the streets? Most especially, what is our government doing to keep us safe from this?



Under Republic Act 8353 or The Anti-Rape Law of 1997, the said crime is punishable by Reclusion Perpetua (imprisonment for 20 to 40 years) or Prision Mayor (imprisonment for 6-12 years). But are these sanctions enough to scare off an individual from committing rape?

Related Story: 11-year-old Student Murdered and Possibly Raped in Pampanga

In 2011, the International Statistics on Crime and Justice ranked the Philippines as the 7th country with high rape case rates. As stated in the recent National Demographic and Health Survey by the National Statistics Office (NSO), reported rape cases was classified as the 3rd highest rate (8.6 percent) of the total violence against women from 2004 to present (Philippine Commission on Women's website). All these figures are alarming and something drastic has to be done, maybe as drastic as asking our government for the reinstitution of death penalty for such felony.


Living in a predominantly Roman Catholic, I know that thinking of such would raise a lot eyebrows as the former Capital Punishment or Death Penalty was abolished during the 1987 Constitution. It was then reimposed through execution by Lethal Injection during Ramos Administration (1993 to 1998) when there was a notable increase in heinous crimes. During the presidency of now Mayor Estrada (1998 to 2001), the execution was put on halt and finally in 2006, then Pres. Arroyo signed the legislation to completely eradicate death penalty. (Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism's website)

I went to an all-girl Catholic school where they taught us how to value our life and the life of others. But clearly these crimes show no value for human life and no respect for women at all. Should our government even consider reinstating death penalty, I will most definitely be in favor it. I know that taking the lives of the convicts will not bring back the lives or erase the nightmares of the victims, but I feel that our government has to rule with an iron fist at this time.

Related Story: 11-year-old Student Murdered and Possibly Raped in Pampanga

Sadly, I think with the rape rates rising we have to result to what we might consider as "barbaric ways" if it means it will make a person rethink before doing anything evil. It does seem stupid to some since we are supposed to be more educated and civilized to have to conclude to this resolution but desperate times calls for desperate measures. I want to feel safe; it is my right and I will fight for it. But this is not just my issue, it's every woman's issue.




Maria graduated AB Communication Arts in 2007. Part-crafty person. She has her own online shop Maria's Collection (@mariascollection on Intagram) showcasing handcrafted jewelries. A perfect day for Maria would include the beach, a cold margarita and a re-run of her favorite series, How I Met Your Mother.

Posted by on 20 Aug 2014

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