Drilon blasts NBI for ‘inefficiency’ in solving drug-related killings
Senator Franklin Drilon on Thursday criticized the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) for probing a measly portion of the thousands of deaths in relation to the administration’s bloody war on drugs.
During the Senate’s deliberation of the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) 2018 budget, NBI Director Dante Gierran said the agency was investigating only 50 cases out of 7,224 deaths being connected to the government’s anti-illegal drug campaign.
Of these 50 cases, 39 are pending, seven were recommended for filing of cases, four were temporarily closed, Gierran told the Senate committee on finance.
Drilon said the data reflected NBI’s inefficiencies or deliberate effort not to investigate the killings, which has drawn condemnation from the public and the international community.
“When you [look at] these figures, you just strengthen the perception that indeed you are not moving anywhere to solve these deaths because of the inefficiencies, either inefficiencies or deliberate effort not to investigate,” Drilon said.
“Because when the people would hear this kind of figure, talagang hindi na po naniniwala na talagang seryoso tayo [the public does not believe that we really are serious] in solving this problem,” he added.
Gierran defended the NBI’s performance, saying that the agency is just investigating the cases filed before their offices and it is the Philippine National Police’s duty to investigate the regularity of the police operations in all of the cases.
“The truth is we are investigating on complaints that reach us and the NBI investigated only 50 because that’s the complaint that reached NBI,” Gierran added.
In February 2017, Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II issued Department Order 120 directing the NBI to investigate the killings under the War on Drugs.
The hearing was the third time the Senate panel tackled the DOJ’s P17.3-billion budget. It was deferred twice as senators raised several issues on the bureau’s performance, particularly its role under the administration’s violent crackdown against illegal drugs. JPV
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