UN: Focus on perpetrators, enablers in drug probe
MANILA, Philippines — In the government probe of the thousands of casualties in the country’s antidrug operations, both perpetrators and their enablers must be included in the review, United Nations special rapporteur Agnes Callamard said on Friday.
“[The] benchmark is to not just focus on those that pulled the trigger but also on those that emboldened those that pulled the trigger,” Callamard said at a forum hosted by the Foreign Correspondents Association of the Philippines.
The UN expert on extrajudicial killings added that expanding the review is one of the most important steps that should be taken by the panel.
“There should be no limit on who shall be included in that review, from the President to police commissioners below and in between,” she added.
“Is the panel prepared to tackle incitement? Is the review panel prepared to tackle those who have repeatedly said ‘I have your back’ to the killers in uniform?” Callamard said.
Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said on June 2020 that an interagency team would review antidrug police operations that resulted in more than 5,000 deaths. This probe was not just for accountability, but also to “tighten the web of existing mechanisms to prevent cases of impunity,” Guevarra said.
Families affected by the killing would also be provided with legal assistance, he said.
A partial report has been submitted to President Duterte, but details of the report have not been revealed.
Callamard said proper accountability should be an acknowledgement of wrongdoing and the filing of cases before the court.
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