|Born||Leo Echegaray Pilo
July 11, 1960
|Died||February 5, 1999
New Bilibid Prison
Leo Echegaray (11 July 1960 – 5 February 1999) was the first Filipino to be meted the death penalty after its reinstatement in the Philippines in 1993, some 23 years after the last judicial execution was carried out. His death sparked national debate over the legality and morality of the death penalty, which was later suspended on 15 April 2006.
Trial and execution
A house painter by trade, Echegaray was accused of the April 1994 rape of his 10-year-old stepdaughter, Rodessa (nicknamed "Baby" by the press). He was convicted by Branch 104 of the Regional Trial Court in Quezon City on 7 September 1994, with the death sentence automatically reviewed by the Supreme Court and affirmed on 25 June 1996. Echegaray filed a motion for appeal, which was denied on 19 January 1999.
Less than a year later, Echegaray was executed via lethal injection on 5 February 1999. Witnesses reported his last words to have been:
"Sámbayanáng Pilipino, patawarin ako sa kasalanang ipinaratang ninyo sa akin. Pilipino, pinatáy ng kapwa Pilipino."
("People of the Philippines, forgive me of the sin which you have accused me. A Filipino, killed by fellow Filipinos.")
- Enbanc Decision (1996-06-25) People of the Philippines vs. Leo Echegaray (GR 117472) Supreme Court of the Philippines. Retrieved on 22 December 2006.
- Enbanc Decision 1998-10-12) Leo Echegaray vs. Secretary of Justice, et al. (G.R. No. 132601. January 19, 1999) Supreme Court of the Philippines. Retrieved on 22 December 2006.
- Enbanc Resolution (1999-01-19) Leo Echegaray vs. Secretary of Justice, et al.(G.R. No. 132601. January 19, 1999) Supreme Court of the Philippines. Retrieved on 22 December 2006.
- People of the Philippines vs. Leo Echegaray y Pilo (G.R. No. 117472) - text of the Philippine Supreme Court ruling affirming the death penalty
- Leo Echegaray vs. Secretary of Justice, et al. - text of the motion for reconsideration (i.e. the decision on Echegaray's appeal)
- First Philippine execution in 22 years set for January (CNN)
- Death Penalty in the Philippines