FLAG seeks review of all cases of deaths in drug war operations, not just a few

Published October 20, 2021, 4:44 PM

by Jeffrey Damicog

Free Legal Assistance Group

The Department of Justice (DOJ) should review all the cases of illegal drugs operations that resulted in deaths, not only the 52 cases which the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) is now conducting case buildups, the Free Legal Assistance Group (FLAG) said on Wednesday, Oct. 20.

Through its Chairperson Jose Manuel “Chel” Diokno, FLAG said there have been 6,191 persons who died during illegal drugs operations as of last Aug. 31.

“The review of just 52 cases barely scratches the surface and is grossly insufficient and inconsistent with the government’s commitments under international law to provide effective review of cases involving alleged extra-legal killings,” FLAG said in a statement.

Diokno cited that in June last year the DOJ expressed commitment before the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) to conduct a “judicious review” of the killings that took place during anti-illegal drugs operations.

He lamented that the review of the 52 cases is just “an attempt to satisfy a commitment extracted from the government.”

“The review thus fails to provide a comprehensive and meaningful assessment of the real extent of the violation of human rights committed during the implementation of the Duterte administration’s so-called ‘war in drugs,’” he said.

“It does not provide useful information to assist in making the offenders accountable; nor does it provide comfort or solace to the families of the victims of those killed in the name of the Duterte administration’s so-called ‘war on drugs’,” he stressed.