MANILA, Philippines — Saying the country’s judicial system should first be fixed, presidential aspirat Senator Manny Pacquiao has changed his tone on the revival of the death penalty, but his stand against same-sex marriage remains the same.
“About the death penalty, before, I filed a bill in the Senate. But right now, I’m just holding it. I’m not pushing right now because of the situation of this country,” Pacquiao said in an interview with Vice News Asia Monday.
“I don’t want… innocent people [to] be punished by death. So we want to fix first our judicial system in this country and arrange everything and make sure that the government is performing their duty,” he added.
Earlier, Pacquiao, a born-again Christian, has pushed for the revival of capital punishment for heinous crimes involving the manufacturing and trafficking of illegal drugs.
Despite a changed stance on death penalty, Pacquiao remains firm on his stand on same-sex marriage.
“Being a Christian, I’m against that. In terms of belief. I’m against that but that doesn’t mean that you condemn them. For me, if you ask me, I’m against same-sex marriage,” he said.
But the senator stressed that while he is against same-sex marriage, he “loves them” and is “not condemining them.”
“To be clear about that issue, I love them. In fact I have a lot of relatives who are (members of the) LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer). I’m not condemning them. I’m just misquoted in that interview last time but l love them. In fact, I have a lot of LGBTQ in my staff and also in my family. I’m not condemning, I love them,” he said.
In 2016, Pacquiao faced a firestorm of criticism for describing gay couples, lesbians and transgenders as “worse than animals.”
The boxing champ-turned-politician then issued an apology to “those I’ve hurt” but still stood by his belief against same-sex marriage “because of what the Bible says.”
Subscribe to our daily newsletter
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.