It's wrong for individuals to kill people but not so for governments.
Sen. Manny Pacquiao, invoking what he said was a verse from the Bible, stood pat on his argument that the revival of the death penalty would not run counter to Christian teaching, in spite of Pope Francis' statement that capital punishment was "inadmissible."
"I agree it's wrong to kill, okay, individually, we're forbidden from killing … but you can read in the Bible, the authority, meaning the government, is given power to impose death penalty," he told reporters.
Such authority, according to Pacquiao, "is established by God and instituted by God."
He cited a verse from Romans 13: "For the one in authority is God's servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason."
Pacquiao said the "sword" did not refer to a literal blade but the one used to execute wrongdoers if the death penalty required beheading.
"If you will read Romans 13 and study it carefully, God is giving the authority to impose death penalty to those who commit heinous crimes," he said.
Even the 1987 Constitution, he said, did not truly abolish the death penalty as it specified that Congress could pass a law restoring death penalty for compelling reasons and heinous crimes.
Pacquiao said he respected the Pope's view, but the real authority was Jesus Christ.
Catholic Church doctrine appoints the Pope as Christ's representative.
"As the Bible says, those who believe in my name, those who accept the Son become the children of God … the authority is Jesus Christ, God," he said.
The House of Representatives passed a bill reviving the death penalty in March 2017, but the bill has stalled at the committee level in the Senate.