The Philippine National Police (PNP) welcomed on Wednesday the decision of the Department of Justice (DOJ) to release the summaries of the 52 cases that it reviewed in connection with deaths related to the government’s aggressive campaign against illegal drugs.
PNP chief General Guillermo Eleazar said the decision of the DOJ under Secretary Menardo Guevarra is consistent with the PNP stand for transparency and accountability in the police organization.
“We welcome the decision of Department of Justice to release these documents to the public,” Eleazar said.
The PNP chief, however, noted both the sacrifices of policemen on the ground and the accomplishment of the campaign against illegal drugs.
Among them, he said, is the fact that the campaign against illegal drugs resulted in the confiscation of multibillion-peso worth of illegal drugs, the neutralization of key players in the illegal drugs trade and the dismantling of shabu laboratories in the country.
Eleazar added that the aggressive campaign against illegal drugs also resulted in an unprecedented 64-percent decrease in index crimes since in the last five years.
He stressed a lot of policemen also died while performing their duties.
According to the DOJ, the summaries that will be released will include docket numbers, names of deceased suspects, places and dates of the incidents, and the review panel’s summary of observations on the cases.
The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) is set to conduct case buildup for the possible filing of criminal charges against erring police officers. The PNP and the NBI are set to ink a memorandum of agreement to jointly investigate drug war deaths.
Eleazar urged witnesses and relatives of the victims to cooperate in holding policemen who committed abuses accountable for their action.
He also reminded PNP personnel to strictly and continuously adhere the Police Operational Procedures to ensure that they would not be put in trouble in the performance of their duties of maintaining peace and order in the country.
“Let this serve as a lesson to all our personnel that as police officers, we are law enforcers who are duty-bound to uphold the law. Always remember that the true courage of a police officer is measured by how he keeps his integrity and moral values intact amid the temptation and the pressure to commit abuses and disregard the rule of law,” he stressed.