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3 Naga Catholic schools hold noise barrage vs death penalty

LOUD MESSAGE. Students of Universidad de Sta. Isabel get out of their classrooms for a noise barrage to protest the passing of House Bill seeking to reimpose the death penalty. JUAN ESCANDOR JR.

By Juan Escandor Jr. NAGA CITY---With the approval of death penalty bill at the Lower House on Tuesday, three Catholic schools in Naga City conducted their protest by holding a 30-minute noise barrage on Wednesday. Primitivo Viray Jr., president of the Ateneo de Naga University, said the protest means “yes to life, no to death penalty’ which he said is the core of the Catholic belief and teachings. Viray said the five Ateneo schools all over the Philippines will continue to protest against the approval of the death penalty bill. He said they will also try to encourage the Senate not to approve the death penalty bill which had been voted in the Lower House. “This (noise barrage) is our initiative to express our stand against the death penalty. As a Catholic institution, we firmly stand against the death penalty,” said Dr. Natalie Ranin, executive officer for public relations of the Universidad de Sta. Isabel. She said there are about 4,000 students and faculty members participating in the noise barrage who lined up along the street of the university at 12:00 noon. Jacky Baysa, participant of the noise barrage, said she joined the noise barrage because she believes that everyone, criminal or not, must be given a second chance to reform themselves. The students and faculty of the Ateneo de Naga University, Universidad de Sta. Isabel, and Naga Parochial School joined the noise barrage along the streets near the Naga Metropolitan Cathedral. The bill seeking to reimpose the death penalty on drug-related offenses has been approved on third and final reading at the House of Representatives. The lower house in a session on Tuesday passed House Bill 4727 -- with 217 congressmen/women voting yes, 54 no and one abstention—seeking to reimpose capital punishment for heinous drug-related offenses. The bill was approved on final reading just a few days after its second reading approval last Wednesday. "I am here to make sure that the voice of my constituents in the third district of Camarines Sur is heard in Congress. In our scheme of things, I am an agent; my constituents are my principals. A problem arises when an agent no longer represents the interests of his principals,” Camarines Sur third district Rep. Gabriela Bordado said. Bordado is one of the 54 congressmen who voted against the death penalty bill.

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