Only 6 drug killing cases brought in courts, DOJ records show
How does the Duterte administration fare in exacting accountability on those responsible for extrajudicial killings?
Gauging from the records of the Department of Justice (DOJ), the government has hardly made a dent in delivering justice for victims of summary killings linked to President Duterte’s vicious drug war.
While the death toll in the government’s war on drugs eclipsed 13,000, the DOJ said state prosecutors had only brought six cases in courts regarding the killings of drug suspects “outside of legitimate police/law enforcement operations” from July 1, 2016, until Aug. 22.
The justice department on Friday made public its records on the drug killings amid the public outrage over the recent string of grisly deaths of teenagers during police operations.
The records, titled “Inventory of murder and homicide cases allegedly related to the government’s campaign against illegal drugs,” showed that the DOJ had only processed 71 complaints so far.
Most of the complaints were filed in the prosecution offices in Metro Manila and the main office of the DOJ.
Of these cases, 35 had been dismissed by DOJ prosecutors while 17 other complaints were still awaiting resolution.
During Mr. Duterte’s first 13 months in office, the DOJ had received 45 complaints stemming from the killings of drug personalities during “legitimate police/law enforcement anti-illegal drugs operations.”
Out of this number, only 13 were formally filed in courts while 25 had been thrown out by government prosecutors. The rest remained pending before the prosecution offices.
The data did not indicate specific cases against police officers, such as the kidnapping and murder of Korean businessman Jee Ick-joo, the first celebrated case of alleged “tokhang-for-ransom” modus.
It also did not include even a single complaint involving “collateral deaths” of innocent civilians, among them children, despite numerous recorded cases of such incidents.
According to the DOJ tally, out of the 26 cases involving drug suspects killed “outside of legitimate police/law enforcement operations,” 10 had been tossed by state prosecutors while another 10 were still undergoing investigation.
Mr. Duterte, Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II and other government officials had repeatedly denied insinuations that the mounting drug deaths were the handwork of the police as part of a state policy./ac
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