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Published March 1, 2022, 12:25 PM
by Jeffrey Damicog
The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) is set to investigate 250 more cases of killings allegedly committed by law enforcers during anti-illegal drugs operations, Department of Justice (DOJ) Secretary Menardo I. Guevarra said.
The NBI probe was revealed by Guevarra during his speech before the 49th Session of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) held Monday night, Feb. 28.
“In particular, 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) two hundred fifty (250) cases that involve reported deaths arising from the government’s anti-illegal drugs operations in the Central Luzon area,” he said.
He said the investigation is part of the government’s efforts following the UNHRC’s Resolution 45/33 that was passed during the 45th session.
“The Resolution endorsed support for our efforts at further strengthening our government’s human rights and accountability mechanisms,” Guevarra said.
“Energized by this support, our national institutions have since then proceeded to discharge our human rights commitments, in accordance with international law principles, and consistent with our national interest,” he said.
He cited that the review panel has previously endorsed to the NBI 52 cases of killings allegedly committed by law enforcement during anti-illegal drugs operations.
“From this previous indorsement, four (04) cases have reached actual prosecution in our courts,” he said.
“The NBI is currently preparing five (05) more complaints to initiate the prosecution process against erring law enforcement operatives,” he added.
At the same time, Guevarra said the review panel’s work is also being complemented by the DOJ-led Administrative Order 35 (AO 35) Inter-Agency Committee on Extra-Legal Killings, Enforced Disappearances, Torture and Other Grave Violations of the Right to Life, Liberty and Security of Persons.
“In the past year alone, this inter-agency committee created fifteen (15) Special Investigation Teams that looked into extra-legal killings and other incidents involving gross violations of human rights and of humanitarian law,” he said.
“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 deaths of known activists in Southern Luzon,” he added.
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