Law enforcement officers who committed wrongdoings during anti-illegal drugs operations will be held accountable, Department of Justice (DOJ) Secretary Menardo I. Guevarra vowed on Wednesday, Sept. 22.
Guevarra made the assurance following President Duterte’s address before the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).
“His (Duterte) instruction to the DOJ and the PNP (Philippine National Police) to review the conduct of the campaign against illegal drugs, together with the succeeding statement that those found to have acted beyond bounds during operations shall be made accountable before our laws, is a clear directive to pursue with greater vigor the ongoing review of drugs death cases and to commence legal actions if found warranted,” he said.
During his UNGA address, Duterte said: “I have instructed the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) to review the conduct of our campaign against illegal drugs.”
“Those found to have acted beyond bounds during operations shall be made accountable before our laws,” Duterte also said.
The DOJ submitted to the President last week its report on the review conducted on 52 cases of killings that took place during the PNP anti-illegal drugs operations.
“We’ll sit down with the PNP chief in the next few days to discuss our report as well as the President’s directive given at the UN General Assembly,” Guevarra said.
After the meeting with the PNP, he assured that the contents of the DOJ report on the 52 cases will be made public.
The PNP’s Internal Affairs Service (PNP-IAS) has investigated around 6,000 anti-illegal operations with killings that have taken place since 2016.
Last June, the PNP submitted to the DOJ the records of 52 cases on deaths that occurred during the drugs operations.
Also, the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) submitted to the DOJ last June 107 cases of killings that happened during its operations.
As part of the country’s commitment before the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC), a DOJ-led review panel has been reviewing since last year cases of killings that occurred during the anti-illegal drugs operations since 2016 under the administration of President Duterte.