DOJ may not finish review of thousands of cases on deaths in drug war operations

Published October 21, 2021, 1:58 PM

by Jeffrey Damicog

Department of Justice

The Department of Justice (DOJ) admitted on Thursday, Oct. 21, it may not finish the review of the thousands of cases involving deaths during the illegal drugs operations conducted by law enforcers.

“Masyado marami yan (It’s so many). We have a few months to do it,” DOJ Undersecretary Adrian Ferdinand S. Sugay said during the “Laging Handa” briefing.

Sugay noted that the number of cases has already reached over 6,000.

“Merong anim na libo yan na natitira na kailangan tingnan (There are 6,000 more that have to be looked into),” he said.

With President Duterte’s term to end next year, Sugay said Justice Secretary Menardo I. Guevarra had decided to select what other cases will be reviewed.

“Ang direktiba ni Secretary maybe we should go after cases doon sa mga urban areas (Guevarra has instructed to review cases that took place in urban areas),” Sugay said.

He pointed out that Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Gen. Guillermo T. Eleazar has already expressed to the DOJ his “willingness, readiness to make available itong mga case records na ito (the records of these cases).”

Fifty-two cases had been reviewed by the DOJ and had been turned over to the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) for case buildups with instructions to file criminal cases if evidence warrants.

The details on the 52 cases were been made public by the DOJ last Wednesday, Oct. 20.

But the details did not include the name of the policemen under investigation. Undersecretary Sugay said the non-disclosure of the names is part of due process.

He said their names would be known as soon as cases are filed before the prosecutors’ offices for preliminary investigation or once filed before the courts.