DOJ chief says vigilantes killed 1,000 drug suspects
Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II told the Senate on Thursday that about 1,000 of the drug suspects killed since President Duterte launched the war on drugs last year were victims of vigilantes.
His assistant, Justice Undersecretary Reynante Orceo, said 3,050 had been killed in legitimate police operations since the start of the campaign, bringing the total kills to 4,050.
Aguirre and Orceo faced the Senate finance committee, which was holding hearings on the P17.276-billion proposed budget of the Department of Justice (DOJ) for 2018.
Sen. Franklin Drilon, who serves on the committee, asked the justice officials to show results of investigations of the killings in the war on drugs, but they brought no such information to Thursday’s hearing.
Sen. Loren Legarda, the committee chair, gave the justice officials until the next hearing to produce the information, which they said would come from the National Bureau of Investigation and the National Prosecution Service.
The committee had started to look into the P3.7-trillion proposed national budget for 2018 and the DOJ’s budget was the first to be mounted for scrutiny by the Senate.
Drilon asked about the results of Department Order No. 120 issued by Aguirre in February authorizing the NBI to investigate the killings in the war on drugs.
Drilon also wanted to know how many exactly had been killed since the launch of the crackdown last year.
But the justice officials could not provide the information sought by Drilon.
Aguirre said he recently issued a directive to the prosecutor general to make an inventory of drug killings under investigation nationwide.
But the prosecutors were still collating data and had asked for 10 days to submit a report, he said.
NBI Director Dante Gierran could not immediately produce information about the drug killings.
He asked for a few minutes to gather papers on the investigations but by the time he was ready with answers, Drilon had been long gone from the hearing.
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