PNP open to DOJ probe on cases of cops cleared in drug war deaths
MANILA, Philippines — Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Guillermo Eleazar on Thursday assured that the organization is open to any Department of Justice (DOJ) review into the cases of officers who were earlier cleared of administrative liability in anti-drug operations that led to deaths.
The DOJ reportedly said it plans to review the previous files of police officers who were cleared by the PNP Internal Affairs Service in cases where anti-drug operations involved deaths.
“The PNP is open to any investigation dahil wala kaming itinatago. (we have nothing to hide). If the DOJ will push through with the review of the cases of those police officers who were already cleared, I will guarantee full cooperation,” Eleazar said in a statement.
“Ito naman ang assurance namin sa DOJ sa simula pa lang. Handa ang PNP na gawing available para sa review ng ahensiya ang alinmang case folder na hilingin nito. We submit to the wisdom of Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra regarding this matter,” he added.
(This is our assurance to the DOJ from the very start. The PNP is ready to make available for any DOJ review any case folder it will ask for. We submit to the wisdom of Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra regarding this matter.)
The PNP earlier gave the DOJ access to at least 61 cases where investigation showed its personnel having committed administrative and criminal liabilities related to anti-drug operations.
Cases involving police officers who were cleared due to the non-cooperation of the victims’ family, were also turned over by the PNP to the DOJ.
“Seryoso ang PNP sa pakikipagtulungan nito sa DOJ at handa din kaming panagutin ang mga pulis na mapatutunayang nagkasala sa batas,” Eleazar went on.
(The PNP is serious in cooperating with the DOJ and we are ready to make the police, who will be proven to have been at fault under the law, take responsibility.)
In February, Guevarra reported irregularities seen in more than half of the 6,000 anti-drug operations the PNP has conducted which lead to the probe in cases.
Despite the PNP’s assurance of cooperation, an international rights group recently reported that Philippine security forces, particularly PNP, have continued “perpetrating extrajudicial killings” and “obstructing justice.”
Between July 1, 2016, and Dec. 31, 2020, official government figures list 6,011 deaths in anti-drug operations while other human rights organizations pegged the number at over 20,000. Faith Yuen Wei Ragasa, Inquirer trainee
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