DOJ drug war report proves PH values right to life, says Roque

Published October 25, 2021, 1:49 PM

by Argyll Cyrus Geducos

Malacañang said the report of the Department of Justice (DOJ) on the Duterte administration’s infamous war on drugs proves that the Philippines is willing to fulfill its obligations to protect the people’s right to life.

File photo of several men carrying the body of an illegal drug suspect during a drug raid in Quiapo, Manila, on July 20, 2017. At least 80 individuals, who were suspected to be involved in illegal drugs, were also rounded up for verification and drug testing during the police operation. (Czar Dancel)

Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque made the statement after the DOJ released last week the details on the 52 cases deaths in the bloody drug war.

The DOJ said in its report that there were lapses in police operation protocols during the conduct of drug operations.

In his press briefing on Monday, October 25, Roque said like any other government program, the drug war is not perfect.

“I think like any other government program, we cannot claim to be perfect,” he said.

“Pero ang sinasabi natin, ‘wag naman yung gawain ng ilang mga bugok, eh maapektuhan ang buong program (But what we’re saying is let’s not allow the acts of a few rotten eggs to affect the entire program),” he added.

Despite this, Roque said that the DOJ’s report on the drug war means that the Philippines is doing its duty of giving justice to victims of human rights violations.

Among the findings of the DO are some victims testing negative for gunpowder nitrates and some law enforcers using excessive force in some cases.

“[It] proves that the Philippines nga po (as I said) is undertaking and performing its obligation insofar as the right to life is concerned,” he said.

“Kapag meron pong napatay ay iimbestigahan, lilitisin, at paparusahan ang mga pumapatay (When someone is killed, there will be an investigation, a trial, and a punishment for those who did the killing),” he added.

Early this month, Roque assured the public that the government is not hiding anything regarding the administration’s infamous program.

He likewise agreed with International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutor Karim Khan that the ICC’s probe on the drug war will reveal the truth and ensure accountability.

However, he said the High Court will be having difficulties unearthing the “truth” since the Philippines will not be cooperating with any investigation of the ICC.

Last month, a pre-trial chamber of the ICC green-lit the said probe, citing a “reasonable basis” to believe that crimes against humanity had been committed in the course of the anti-illegal drugs campaign.