Over 6,000 drug-related cases are set to be reviewed by the Department of Justice (DOJ) to determine if the cops involved in the said operations violated standard protocols.
The review was based on the instruction of President Rodrigo R. Duterte, which he issued amid mounting public demand both here and abroad for an independent investigation on the mass killings of drug suspects since the start of the current administration.
But due to the sheer volume of the said cases and the limited remaining time of the current administration, Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra ordered for the review to be focused on “certain urban areas.”
In a television interview last Thursday, Justice Undersecretary Adrian Sugay said the review would likely focus in certain cities in the Visayas, Mindanao, Bicol and the National Capital Region (NCR), which most of the cases come from.
He said the Philippine National Police (PNP) already expressed its willingness to cooperate with the said review.
“In the next few months. “We will review the case files concerning those who died as a result of anti-illegal drug operations,” Sugay said.
He said the results of the review of the DOJ can be used by the International Criminal Court (ICC) in its own probe on the drug-related killings.
This includes, he said, the matrix of the 52 cases, which they recently received and forwarded to the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) for case build up.
“It is up to the ICC. I already said this is already of, well, open source information because we already made it public. So it’s available to anybody who may be minded to look into this and to use this for whatever purposes they may wany,” Sugay said.
President Rodrigo R. Duterte repeatedly said he will not cooperate with the probe of the ICC on the drug-related killings.
Last month, the ICC’s Pre-Trial Chamber finally authorized the start of the probe on the alleged mass killings of drug suspects in the government’s anti-illegal drugs campaign.