PNP says justice system vs drug war victims works in PH

Published August 31, 2021, 9:45 AM

by Aaron Recuenco 

The Philippine National Police (PNP) insisted on Tuesday, Aug. 31, that the justice system in the country works as the International Criminal Court registry noted that 94 percent of the drug war victims want to look into human rights abuses in the campaign against illegal drugs under the Duterte administration.

PNP chief Gen. Guillermo Lorenzo Eleazar said mechanisms are in place to ensure that justice is served to those who feel that they fell prey on allegations that there has been a pattern of State-sponsored killing in the conduct of drug was that was initiated by President Duterte when he began his term of office on July 2016.

More than 6,000 suspected drug pushers and users died in police operations while tens of thousands more were executed in vigilante-type killing by groups and people who were allegedly inspired by the bloody drug war.

“Karapatan ng bawat isa sa atin na idulog ang ating hinaing kung saan natin inaakalang matutugunan ito. (It is the right of every person to air his concern before any body which he believe would effectively respond to it) So we respect the decision of the families of persons killed in anti-illegal drug operations in seeking an International Criminal Court investigation,” said Eleazar.

“But we can assure them that the Philippine justice system works. Proof of this is the conviction of the policemen for the killing of Kian delos Santos and several other court decisions which have caused the dismissal and imprisonment of other PNP personnel,” he added.

Former ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda had asked the international body to formally investigate the killings being linked into the drug war.

Eleazar, however, said said the alleged killings amid the drug war were already being investigated by the Department of Justice and that the police are cooperating in local investigations.

In fact, he said several documents were already turned over to the DOJ.

“We already made several initiatives to prove that the PNP has no policy of allowing and tolerating all forms of human rights abuses in the conduct of our operations,” said Eleazar.

He said among them are strengthening of transparency and accountability that include procurement of body-worn cameras and aggressive internal cleansing that include speeding up the resolution of administrative cases against erring PNP personnel.