DOJ: Build case vs 154 cops in drug deaths

Evelyn Macairan – The Philippine Star

October 4, 2021 | 12:00am


MANILA, Philippines — Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra yesterday ordered the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to conduct a case build-up on 52 drug cases that resulted in deaths.

At least 154 police officers were allegedly involved in extrajudicial killings related to the government’s war on drugs.

“If there is enough evidence, file criminal cases against them,” Guevarra said.

Based on facts gathered by the Philippine National Police (PNP) Internal Affairs Service, Guevarra said the police officers involved in these cases were not only administratively liable.

“The evidence points to their possible criminal liability as well,” he said.

The Department of Justice (DOJ) has informed the PNP that the drug deaths would be endorsed to the NBI for case build-up and filing of criminal complaints if necessary.

Justice Undersecretary Adrian Sugay said out of 52 cases reviewed by the DOJ panel of prosecutors, there was one that was not drug-related and did not result in death.

During a meeting on Friday, the DOJ and the PNP agreed to “ institutionalize cooperation in investigating similar incidents in the future.”

Guevarra said the DOJ and PNP believe that the war on drugs could be won “without the use of excessive force and unnecessary loss of lives.”

The DOJ and NBI are scheduled to meet tomorrow to determine the criminal liability of the police officers involved in deaths of drug suspects.

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