PNP-NBI deal to probe criminal, admin liabilities in ‘drug war’ deaths seen signed in November

27-Oct-2021 Intellasia | PhilStar | 5:02 AM Print This Post

Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said the memorandum of agreement between the National Bureau of Investigation and Philippine National Police on simultaneous administrative and criminal probes into deadly “war on drugs” operations may be signed in November.

On Tuesday, Guevarra said they are expecting comments from the NBI and PNP this week. “Then we can finalise,” he told reporters in a message.

“We hope that the NBI and the PNP would be able to sign their MOA before PNP chief [Guillermo Eleazar's] retirement,” Guevarra added.

Eleazar is set to retire on November 13, when he reaches the mandatory retirement age of 56. By then, he would have served as PNP chief for six months.

Under Eleazar’s stint as police chief, the PNP gave access to 52 files from its Internal Affairs Services, which found police officers directly liable over deaths in “drug war” operations. The files became part of the DOJ’s ongoing review of the “war on drugs” campaign.

The DOJ matrix of the 52 cases showed that police officers involved in “war on drugs” operations that happened as far back as 2016 have yet to be investigated for criminal liability.

After the review, Guevarra said early in October that the PNP and the DOJ, through the NBI, “will institutionalise cooperation in investigating similar instances in the future, so that both administrative and criminal liabilities, if any, are determined simultaneously.”

READ: DOJ review finds lapses in ‘drug war’ ops commonly punished with suspension

Next PNP chief

Guevarra also previously said that Eleazar has committed to cooperating in the examination of the thousands of other case files of deadly “war on drugs” operations.

Latest government figures acknowledge the deaths of 6,191 peeople in anti-narcotics operations. The government has maintained that those who were killed had resisted arrest but the DOJ-led review has raised questions on the “nanlaban” narrative used by the police.

Asked if there is a possibility that Eleazar’s successor would take a different stance on the review of “war on drugs” operations, Guevarra noted President Rodrigo Duterte’s directive to both of their agencies.

“The president has a standing order to the DOJ and the PNP to review the conduct of the drug war and to impose sanctions upon those who went beyond the bounds of the law,” he said.

“I expect that the next PNP chief, whoever he may be, will strictly comply with the president’s directive,” Guevarra continued.

In the face of an investigation by the International Criminal Court, President Rodrigo Duterte reminded state leaders at the United Nations in September that he had ordered a review of the “drug war” deaths.

He said then that “those found to have acted beyond bounds during operations shall be made accountable before our laws.”


Category: Philippines

Print This Post

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.