De Lima on Duterte’s refusal to share drug war records: He is afraid of the truth


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Opposition Senator Leila M. de Lima has maintained that Mr. Duterte’s refusal to release all records from his failed war on drugs for scrutiny is unsurprising considering that he is afraid of the truth and that his administration has so much to hide.

De Lima, the staunchest critic of Duterte’s murderous war on drugs, said that the fact that the Department of Justice (DOJ) even had to ask permission to investigate the record of the Philippine National Police (PNP) is an anomaly in itself.

“No one is surprised that the President would hide the grisly records of his drug war under the cover of national security, not only because it was convenient for him but also because he and his government have much to hide. Not to mention he has a penchant for ‘bravado’ and is a chronic liar,” she said.

Bakit kailangan magpaalam ng DOJ para imbestigahan ang krimen na naganap kahit pa PNP ang may sala? Democracy demands accountability. Karapatan ng bawat Pilipino na mabigyan ng hustisya kahit sino pa ang may sala,” she added.

In his taped briefing that aired last May 31, Duterte claimed his government cannot release all records from his controversial anti-drugs campaign for scrutiny because it would supposedly compromise national security.

Eh national security issue ito eh, kagaya ng NPA. We have records na those who have died, who have derogatory records in our files and may references sila na tao and we cannot divulge it to anybody except the military and police,” Duterte said.

Duterte’s remarks came after Interior Secretary Eduardo Año showed during the meeting data that deaths still occurred during legitimate police anti-drug operations.

“Duterte’s denial of access to PNP drug war records under the fallacious claim of national security shows that he is afraid of the truth: that it is his orders that led to the extra-judicial killings that ended the lives of thousands of Filipinos under the pretense of a war on drugs,” she said.

Palibhasa, sa pagsasapubliko ng mga records na ito, hindi lang mabubunyag ang naging mga paglabag ng awtoridad. Makikita rin dito ang katotohanan kung paanong sa pag-udyok at pagkunsinte ni Duterte, lumalala ang karahasan, pag-abuso at brutal na pagpatay ng kapulisan,” she added.

Prior to this, Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra announced that the PNP had agreed to open 61 case records where the PNP Internal Affairs Service had already found liability on the part of law enforcers.

It may be recalled that the CHR previously lamented that restrictions on access to police records hampered its investigations into cases where victims were killed by law enforcers for allegedly “fighting back” or “nanlaban.” (30)

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