DOJ team starts review of drug war cases where suspects died in police operations

Published June 9, 2021, 1:02 PM

by Jeffrey Damicog

Department of Justice

A team of Department of Justice (DOJ) lawyers has started reviewing the 53 cases involving deaths during the police operations against illegal drugs.

The Philippine National Police-Internal Affairs Service (PNP-IAS) had reviewed the cases and found administrative and criminal liabilities on the part of the policemen involved in the operations.

Justice Secretary Menardo I. Guevarra and PNP Chief Gen. Guillermo Lorenzo T. Eleazar had agreed on the DOJ’s review of the cases.

The case records had been turned over by the PNP to the DOJ last June 1.

DOJ Undersecretary Adrian Ferdinand S. Sugay said he himself leads the team of lawyers reviewing the 53 cases.

At the same time, Sugay said the DOJ has yet to finish the draft of the memorandum of agreement (MOA) that would allow the agency to look into the PNP records of all illegal drugs operations and reported extra-judicial killings (EJKs).

“We are still working on it,” he said.

As part of its commitment before the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC), a DOJ-led panel has been reviewing since last year cases involving deaths during anti-illegal drugs operations that have taken place under President Duterte’s administration.