‘I am a Christian’: QC police official lauded for stand vs death penalty

Lt. Col. Jay Borromeo, legal and human rights officer of the Quezon City Police District, speaks against the death penalty during an open forum at the National Congress Against Death Penalty in Quezon City on Thursday, October 10, 2019. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA—A police official stood up during a human rights gathering in Quezon City Thursday, declaring he was against the death penalty, the revival of which is being pushed by his organization.

Lt. Col. Jay Borromeo’s remarks were roundly applauded during the forum that sought to enhance strategies to lobby Congress against resurrecting capital punishment.

“I am not in favor of death penalty,” said Borromeo, who heads the legal and human rights offices of the Quezon City Police District,

“I am a Christian . . . The right to life is essential to human rights.”

Borromeo acknowledged that the Philippine National Police (PNP) as an institution was in favor of capital punishment, a measure sought by President Rodrigo Duterte as part of his war on illegal drugs.

PNP chief Oscar Albayalde earlier said he preferred lethal injection for drug convicts.

“It is my personal opinion that there should be no more death penalty law,” he told ABS-CBN News, adding he was trying to “erase the mis-impression” that policemen could “no longer speak their mind.”

Borromeo said his position on death penalty was also “very common if you just interview some other policemen.”

Human rights groups have denounced the PNP over the bloody war on illegal drugs, which has killed at least 5,500 people, based on official police figures.

Borromeo said questions raised over the legitimacy of anti-drug operations could be brought up in court.

“There is a proper venue to prove that,” he said. “The system works.”

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