Opposition Senator Leila M. de Lima has welcomed the recent move by the Philippine National Police (PNP) to open its drug war records to the Department of Justice (DOJ) for review, roughly five years after the government’s drug war campaign started.
De Lima, the staunchest critic of Duterte’s murderous war on drugs, said the investigation should uncover the whole truth, especially about the summary killings of thousands of poor Filipinos.
“The openness of the current PNP leadership in sharing their drug war records is a good sign. Let’s see how far the DOJ-led inter-agency panel would be willing to go to uncover the plain, unvarnished truth, and determine ultimate accountability for the EJKs,” she said.
“Hindi pwedeng tingi-tingi lang. Yung buong katotohanan dapat. Bakit naging lantaran at talamak ang pagpatay? Sino ang nag-udyok?” she added.
Recently, Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra reportedly 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.
According to Guevarra, these cases were reviewed and evaluated by the PNP Internal Affairs Service (IAS), an autonomous unit within the PNP dedicated to investigating erring policemen, using its own records and personnel.
Gueverra said the purpose of the review is for the DOJ to determine which administrative cases could lead to possible criminal investigation.
The lady Senator from Bicol, however, stressed that the PNP and DOJ should cooperate with the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) by also sharing with the latter relevant drug war files for independent probe.
“Mahalaga ang isang independent at patas na imbestigasyon ng CHR ukol sa mga EJKs, at malaki ang maitutulong ng mga records na ito mula sa PNP sa CHR para malaman ang katotohanan sa mga naiulat na pamamaslang. Kailangan dito ng tunay na kooperasyon, at hindi ningas-kugon lang na mga inisyatiba,” De Lima said.
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.”
PNP Chief Police General Guillermo Eleazar reportedly said they are now leaving the decision to share the police’s records on the war on drugs with the CHR to the justice department because it will be the one to review the records and not the police. (30)