Deployment of resident ombudsmen to graft-prone agencies to start this month — DOJ

Robie de Guzman   •   September 9, 2021   •   272

MANILA, Philippines — The deployment of prosecutors and state auditors who will serve as resident ombudsmen to government agencies prone to corruption is expected to begin this month, the Department of Justice (DOJ) said Thursday.

This is after the DOJ, together with the Commission on Audit (COA) and the Office of the Ombudsman, signed a memorandum of agreement that would deputize DOJ prosecutors and COA auditors as resident ombudsmen.

Their tasks include the following:

  • Bring to host government agencies the Ombudsman’s frontline services by acting on complaints and reports against officials and employees of the said agencies
  • Serve as watchdogs and implementors or corruption prevention program
  • Monitor compliance with existing anti-graft laws and regulations

“The MOA synergizes the investigatory powers of the Office of the Ombudsman, DOJ, and COA in the implementation of anti-corruption measures, this aiding the OMB and the COA in carrying out their respective mandates while also serving as a mechanism for the DOJ to attain the objectives of the Task Force Against Corruption,” the DOJ said in a statement.

“The OMB, COA, and DOH shall jointly enter into agreements with partner agencies regarding the terms of deployment of the resident Ombudsmen, which is expected to start rolling this month,” it added.

This development comes after COA included in its report alleged “deficiencies” in the Department of Health’s use of COVID-19 funds.

The issue has prompted Congressional hearings on the utilization of DOH’s funds for COVID-19 response.

DOJ vows to review more drug war cases before end of Duterte’s term

Maris Federez   •   October 22, 2021

 

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Justice (DOJ) said it will try to review more drug war cases before the end of the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte.

DOJ Secretary Menardo Guevarra said they are coordinating with Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Police-General Guillermo Eleazar for the turnover of documents relative to the cases for their review.

Guevarra, however, said the review will depend on their manpower and on whether the case file folders from the different PNP regional offices in the country are already available and complete.

The DOJ is also considering conducting random reviews of the cases coming from the regions.

Meanwhile, Guevarra stressed that they will not allow the investigation that the International Criminal Court (ICC) is planning to launch on the government’s drug war to affect their review.

“Sa aking huling nabasa tungkol sa isyu diyan ng ICC mukhang tuloy-tuloy naman sila. Sabi nga ng kanilang bagong prosecutor I understand that they will continue with the investigation. So sa amin, kami rin naman dito sa DOJ tuloy-tuloy lang din yung trabaho namin dito. Kung ano man ang naibigay sa amin irereview namin with proper recommendations,” Guevarra said.- —/mbmf (from the report of UNTV Correspondent Dante Amento)

DOJ, handang ilabas ang resulta ng imbestigasyon sa 300 drug war cases

Maris Federez   •   October 21, 2021

 

MANILA, Philppines — Handa ang Department of Justice na ilabas ang resulta ng kanilang imbestigasyon sa 300 case files ng anti-illegal drug war ng pamahalaan.

Ayon kay DOJ Usec. Adrian Sugay, hinihintay na lamang nila ang direktiba ni Pangulong Rodrigo Duterte hinggil sa pagsasapubliko ng kanilang report na kasalukuyan nang nasa tanggapan ng pangulo.

“Sa ngayon pinauubaya na namin sa kanya kamukha rin ng nangyari rito. Ang information table naman na ito ay merong direktiba ang Office of the President na i-release na ito,” ani Sugay.

“So kumbaga kung magkaroon rin kami ng direktiba doon sa unang report ire-release din namin,” dagdag niya.

Ayon pa sa opisyal, sunod na pagtutuunan nilang rebisahin ang mga war on drug case files sa urban areas sa bansa dahil may anim na libo pang natitira na kailangang tingnan.

Binigyang diin din ni Sugay na maaaring gamitin ng International Criminal Court (ICC) ang drug war matrix na inilabas ng DOJ bilang bahagi ng kanilang ebidensya.

“Ngayon, gusto nilang makuha ‘tong table na to, tong matrix na ‘to, kung gusto nila gamitin, nasa kanila iyon. Nasa ICC na yun,” aniya.

“Sabi ko nga already part of open source information kasi isinapubliko na ito. So it’s available to anybody who may be minded to look into this and to use this kung ano mang purposes ang gusto nila,” dagdag nito.

Samantala, iginiit ng Malakanyang na ang ginawang pagsasapubliko ng DOJ ng impormasyon kaugnay ng pagrepaso nito sa mga kaso ng war on drugs ay katunayang ginagampanan ng estado ang obligasyon nitong imbestigahan ang mga police operations na kinakitaan ng paglabag sa batas.

Ayon pa kay Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, patunay ito na hindi kinukunsinte ang mga tauhan ng pulisya na hindi gumaganap ng tama sa kanilang mga tungkulin.

Subalit ayon sa palasyo, hindi maisasapubliko ang resulta ng ginawang imbestigasyon ng DOJ sa tatlong daang kaso ng drug war killings dahil sa live criminal investigations na ito.

“On the contrary po no, ang decision ng DOJ proves na we are not soft kasi nga po kakasuhan yang 52. Yan po ang ibig sabihin nung sinabi ni Sec. (Menardo) Guevarra na nirefer nila for NBI for case building. Siyempre po kung kakasuhan, dapat matibay ang ebidensya,” ani Roque. —/mbmf (mula sa ulat ni UNTV Correspondent Dante Amento)

PNP welcomes DOJ move to release parts of review on anti-drug campaign

Robie de Guzman   •   October 21, 2021

 

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine National Police (PNP) welcomed the decision of the Department of Justice (DOJ) to make public the summaries of the 52 cases it reviewed in connection with deaths related to the government’s campaign against illegal drugs.

In a statement, PNP chief Police General Guillermo Eleazar said the DOJ’s move 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,” he said.

“Simula pa lang ay lubos na ang ating kooperasyon sa DOJ sa pamumuno ni Secretary Menardo Guevarra sa pamamagitan ng ating SILG Eduardo Año, at ipinaubaya na natin sa kanila ang desisyon tungkol sa mga kasong ito in the interest of truth, transparency and justice,” he added.

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 is set to conduct case buildup for the possible filing of criminal charges against erring police officers.

Eleazar urged the victims’ families to cooperate in holding policemen who committed abuses accountable for their action.

“Ito rin ang pagkakataon para sa mga pamilya ng nasawi sa police anti-illegal drugs operations para sila’y makapagsumite ng complaint-affidavit o kaya’y magharap ng testigo upang maisampa ang kaukulang kasong kriminal sa korte,” he said.

“Tinitiyak ko ang buong pakikipagtulungan ng PNP sa NBI. Walang mangyayaring takipan at ating pananagutin ang may dapat panagutan,” he added.

He also reminded PNP personnel to strictly follow the Police Operational Procedures to avoid problems in performing their mandate.

“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. Tagapagpatupad tayo ng batas, hindi tayo ang batas,” Eleazar said.

“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 added.

Eleazar also stressed the sacrifices of policemen on the ground and the accomplishments of the campaign against illegal drugs.

These include the confiscation of multi-billion peso worth of illegal drugs, the neutralization of key players in the illegal drugs trade in the country and the dismantling of shabu laboratories in the country.

 

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