NBI-PNP joint probes on deaths in drug war operations may be formalized this November

Justice Secretary Menardo I. Guevarra

Department of Justice (DOJ) Secretary Menardo I. Guevarra on Tuesday, Oct. 26, said the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) may sign in November the memorandum of agreement (MOA) for joint probes on future illegal drugs operations which may result in deaths to suspects and other persons.

Guevarra said the signing could be done before the compulsory retirement of PNP Chief General Guillermo T. Eleazar on his 56th birthday on Nov. 13.

“We hope that the NBI and the PNP would be able to sign their MOA before PNP Chief Eleazar’s retirement,” he said.

He reminded that President Duterte “has a standing order to the DOJ and the PNP to review the conduct of the drug war and to impose sanctions upon those who went beyond the bounds of the law.”

“I expect that the next PNP chief, whoever he may be, will strictly comply with the President’s directive,” he stressed.

The DOJ had finished the draft of the MOA and had submitted it to the PNP and the NBI last Oct. 15.

“We’re expecting their comments this week. Then we can finalize,” Guevarra said.

He reiterated that while the MOA would cover only killings that may occur during illegal drugs operations, the NBI and the PNP “can expand the scope of collaboration later.”

The move to have a MOA came up after the DOJ finished its review on 52 cases of killings that took place during illegal drugs operations conducted by the police.

Results of the review had been turned over to the NBI for case buildup and filing of criminal cases against policemen if evidence warrants.

Also, under review by the DOJ are more than 100 cases turned over by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) on its illegal drugs operations.