Alunan, Ejercito claims on death penalty false

Written by
University of the Philippines Journalism Department
Last modified
Saturday, May 4, 2019 - 18:19
Alunan and Ejercito during the CNN Philippines debate



We’re the only country in Asia, I think, that doesn’t have the death penalty.

     — Raffy Alunan, CNN Philippines: #TheFilipinoVotes senatorial debate, April 27, 2019  

We are only one of two countries in the--in Asia that repealed death penalty.

     — JV Ejercito, CNN Philippines: #TheFilipinoVotes senatorial debate, April 27, 2019

The Philippines is one of 14 countries in Asia that have abolished death penalty, contrary to claims by Senate bets Raffy Alunan and JV Ejercito in an April 27 CNN Philippines debate.

Amnesty International as of July 2018 lists the following Asian countries having abolished capital punishment for all crimes since 1976:

  • Armenia (repealed in 2003)

  • Azerbaijan (repealed in 1998)

  • Bhutan (repealed in 2004)

  • Cambodia (repealed in 1989)

  • Cyprus (repealed in 1983 for ordinary crimes; 2002 for all crimes)

  • Georgia (repealed in 1997)

  • Kyrgyzstan (repealed in 2007)

  • Mongolia (repealed in 2017)

  • Nepal (repealed in 1997)

  • Philippines (repealed in 2006)

  • Timor-Leste (repealed in 1999)

  • Turkey (repealed in 2004)

  • Turkmenistan (repealed in 1999)

  • Uzbekistan (repealed in 2008)

Seven more Asian countries are “abolitionist in practice” and have not executed anyone in the past 10 years despite retaining capital punishment, according to Amnesty International:

  • Brunei Darussalam

  • Laos

  • Maldives

  • Myanmar

  • South Korea

  • Sri Lanka

  • Tajikistan

The 1987 Constitution, which prohibits “cruel, degrading or inhuman punishment,” says “neither shall the death penalty be imposed, unless, for compelling reasons involving heinous crimes, the Congress hereafter provides for it.”

Republic Act No. 7659 enacted in 1993 imposed death penalty for certain heinous crimes, including treason, kidnapping, murder rape and plunder. Republic Act No. 9346 in 2006 subsequently prohibited death penalty.

In 2017, a bill seeking to reimpose capital punishment was approved by the House of Representatives and was transmitted to the Senate where it remains pending.


Amnesty International. (2018, July). Abolitionist and retentionist countries as of July 2018. [PDF]. Retrieved from

Amnesty International. (2019, April 10). Death sentences and executions. [PDF]. Retrieved from

CNN Philippines. (2019, April 27). In Facebook. [Video]. Retrieved from

Republic Act No. 7659. (1993, December 13). Retrieved from

Republic Act No. 9346. (2006, June 24). Retrieved from

United Nations Statistics Division. (1999). Standard country or area codes for statistical use (M49). Retrieved from



The views and information in ‘’ are those of their respective authors and owners and do not reflect the official policy or position of the media and academic partners of

Fact Checked By