JUSTICE Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II said the Department of Justice (DOJ) supports the reimposition of death penalty in the country.

In a chance interview with Aguirre on Tuesday, he said his office supports the Duterte administration's call for Congress to pass a measure reviving the death penalty.

"We are supporting death penalty," Aguirre said.

Aguirre during the interview also countered the claims of some lawmakers that the return of death penalty will violate an international law, particularly the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) Second International Protocol, which forbids the country from conducting executions within their respective jurisdiction.

The Philippines had signed the ICCPR on December 19, 1966 and ratified it on October 23, 1986.

On September 20, 2006, it had signed the Second Optional Protocol and ratified it on November 20, 2007.

"Yung treaty, mas mababa 'yan sa constitutional provision. Sa constitutional provision natin, pinapayagan tayo na i-reimpose ang death penalty. So hindi maaring mag-prevail ang treaty over our Constitution," Aguirre said.

The Congress is now tackling a bill seeking to reimpose the capital punishment for perpetrators of heinous crimes. (SunStar Philippines)