Guevarra to UN body: DOJ to endorse 250 more cases of drug war deaths to NBI
MANILA, Philippines — A Department of Justice (DOJ) review panel is now ready to endorse 250 cases involving deaths from anti-illegal drugs operations in Central Luzon to the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra told the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC).
“The Review Panel formed under the Department of Justice which I lead is now prepared to endorse to the Philippine National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) 250 cases that involve reported deaths arising from the government’s anti-illegal drugs operations in the Central Luzon area,” Guevarra said as he represented the Philippines during the High-Level Segment of the 49th Regular Session of the UN council in Geneva, Switzerland on Monday (Manila time).
Guevarra, according to a statement released by the Department of Foreign Affairs late Monday, also informed the UNHRC that four of the 52 cases previously endorsed to the NBI have reached “actual prosecution in courts.”
The DOJ chief, who participated virtually, said the NBI is currently preparing five more complaints to initiate the prosecution process against erring law enforcement operatives, the DFA added.
The DOJ review panel has been working with the Inter-Agency Committee Inter-Agency Committee on Extra Legal Killings, Enforced Disappearances, Torture, and Other Grave Violations of the Right to Life, Liberty, and Security of Persons.
“The Committee has recently completed its investigation and will shortly initiate the process to prosecute a number of law enforcement officers involved in the service of judicial warrants which resulted in the death of known activists in Southern Luzon,” Guevarra added.
During the meeting, Guevarra stressed that the Philippine justice and law enforcement institutions are determined “to instill respect for human rights and exact accountability for violators.”
However, he underscored the “line drawn by the government between parties that engage in good faith and those that abuse and exploit these mechanisms to make demands of accountability with little or no factual basis,” according to the DFA.
“With the forthcoming national elections in May and the change in administration in the middle of the year, Secretary Guevarra provided assurances that the country’s commitment and positive engagements will remain unaffected,” the DFA added.
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