VATICAN CITY, JUNE 26, 2006 ( The president of the Philippines presented Benedict XVI with a new law that abolishes the death penalty in her country.
The Holy Father received Gloria Macapagal Arroyo in audience today, the Holy See press office confirmed in a statement.

“In the course of the cordial meeting the president explained to the Holy Father the new law banning the death penalty, which was signed last Saturday, feast of St. John the Baptist,” the note states.

Arroyo also “showed the Pope a plan for reforming the constitution, which aims at a more harmonious development of the country, reserving greater attention to the poorer sectors of the population,” the press office confirmed.

The communiqué continued: “During the meeting, reference was also made to the favorable prospects for dialogue with the Muslim inhabitants of the country and to the hope for national pacification.”

“Finally the president noted how Christian values, with which the majority of Filipinos identify, also find expression and support in the legislation of the state.”