Guevarra warns cops: Follow rule of law, due process in war on drugs
The guilty verdict on Kian delos Santos’s murder case is a warning that the rule of law and due process must always be followed in the government’s crackdown against illegal drugs, Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra on Thursday.
Guevarra was reacting to the Caloocan court’s decision to convict three police officers involved in the killing of 17-year-old Delos Santos in August 2017.
“The conviction serves as a warning to our law enforcers that in the government’s campaign against illegal drugs, the rule of law and due process must always be observed,” Guevarra told reporters in a text message.
However, Guevarra said that the conviction would not hinder law enforcement agencies from “vigorously” continuing the campaign against illegal drugs, saying that may law enforcers follow the proper legal procedures and produce the desired results.
The lower court’s decision, Guevarra said, also debunked the “myth” that there is a culture of impunity in the Duterte administration’s anti-illegal drug war.
“The conviction debunks the myth that there is a culture of impunity in the government’s war against illegal drugs,” Guevarra said.
The Caloocan City Regional Trial Court Branch 125 on Thursday found PO3 Arnel Oares, PO1 Jeremias Pereda and PO1 Jerwin Cruz guilty of killing Delos Santos in August 2017.
The lower court sentenced them to reclusion perpetua without eligibility of parole. /jpv