Duterte afraid files will expose truth about bloody drug war — De Lima

Published June 4, 2021, 12:48 PM

by Hannah Torregoza 

President Rodrigo Duterte’s refusal to share pertinent documents related to his administration’s controversial anti-illegal drug operations for public scrutiny is not surprising and only shows that he has much to hide, opposition Senator Leila de Lima said on Friday.

“He is afraid of the truth…No one is surprised that the President would hide the grisly records of his drug war under the cover of national security, not only because it was convenient for him but also because he and his government have much to hide,” De Lima said in a statement.

Duterte earlier cited “national security issues” when he thumbed down the Philippine National Police’s (PNP) plan to share all records to the Department of Justice (DOJ), especially on the 61 investigations into the cops who participated in the operations.

The President’s pronouncement forced the PNP and the DOJ to tweak its data-sharing agreement by narrowing down the records up for sharing by only opening for scrutiny those drug cases that have already been resolved.

PNP Chief General Guillermo Eleazar said they would only share for now records of 53 cases—far from the 7,884 drug suspects—who allegedly “fought back” against cops during the anti-drug operations.

De Lima, a staunch critic of Duterte’s war on drugs, said that the fact that the DOJ even had to ask permission to investigate the record of the PNP is an anomaly in itself.

“Bakit kailangan magpaalam ng DOJ para imbestigahan ang krimen na naganap kahit pa PNP ang may sala (Why do the DOJ have to ask for permission before they can investigate the crime that happened even though PNP officials are involved)?” she pointed out.

“Democracy demands accountability. Karapatan ng bawat Pilipino na mabigyan ng hustisya kahit sino pa ang may sala (Filipinos have the right to be given justice whoever is accountable),” she added.

The detained senator said Duterte’s denial of access to PNP drug war records under the fallacious claim of national security shows that it is his orders that led to the extra-judicial killings that ended the lives of thousands of Filipinos under the pretense of a war on drug.

“Makikita rin dito ang katotohanan kung paanong sa pag-udyok at pagkunsinte ni Duterte, lumalala ang karahasan, pag-abuso at brutal na pagpatay ng kapulisan, (It will also show a full picture of how Duterte pushed and tolerated the violence, abuse and brutal killings of policemen),” she stressed.