Kin of victims in the Oplan Tokhang files complaint at the Office of the Ombudsman

UNTV News   •   March 15, 2017   •   4221

QUEZON CITY, Philippines — A relative of an Oplan Tokhang victim has filed double murder and an administrative case at the Office of the Ombudsman.

This is the second time that somebody filed a complaint to the Ombudsman against the Philippine National Police’s Anti-Illegal Drugs Operations.

A cop allegedly killed the husband and son of a certain “Gen”, not her real name, at dawn on September 15, 2016.

Eight policemen entered their house and asked the two victims to admit that they were drug pushers.

Alias Gen said, “We were all ordered to come down and my son Gabriel was left trying to stop the policemen surrounding my husband. My husband was down on his knees with his hands raised. He said he would just change his clothes. When I went out, I heard gun shots.”

WATCH: CHR denounces return of Oplan Tokhang 

Gen’s lawyer said they are looking at many angles in the killing such as “palit ulo” where an informant has to point a person to save his life.

NUPL’s Atty. Cristina Conti explained, “’Palit ulo’ may be a cause. You have to identify other people to save yourself. If you’re an informant, you have to point other people so you won’t be killed.”

The National Union of People’s Lawyers (NUPL) is encouraging other relatives of those killed in Oplan Tokhang not to be afraid and to show up and file a complaint. — Mon Jocson | UNTV News & Rescue

WATCH: PNP relaunches operation vs illegal drugs with the creation of P-DEG 

ICC urged to lift suspension on PH drug war probe

Maris Federez   •   November 23, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Petitioners against President Rodrigo Duterte will ask the International Criminal Court (ICC) to reconsider its decision to suspend the investigation on the administration’s war on drugs campaign.

On November 10, Philippine Ambassador to the Netherlands Eduardo Malaya wrote to ICC Chief Prosecutor Karim Khan to suspend the investigation, reminding the court that the Philippines has the primary responsibility and right to conduct an investigation and, eventually, prosecute all cases inside its jurisdiction.

Malaya also underscored that the country’s justice system is working.

National Union of Peoples Lawyers Chairman Atty. Neri Colmenares, however, said that the government is not serious in its efforts to investigate drug war-related killings in the country.

“There is no genuine investigation, prosecution in the Philippines at ipo-prove namin na hindi siya genuine investigation doon sa haba ng pahahon ng delay pangalawa kokonti ang imbestigahan, pangatlo si Duterte hindi iniimbestigahan at kinakasuhan,” Colmenares said.

Colmenares said the government’s anti-illegal drug operations left thousands dead after they allegedly fought against authorities.

“Kasi ang admitted na patay na dito sa Pilipinas ay 7,000 at least 7,000. So, ang sabi nga ng mga human rights groups mga 20,000 pero sige na kahit 7,000 lang napakaliit ng 52 na inimbestigahan mo para sabihin na seryosong inimbestigahan,” Colmenares insisted.

Colmenares is one of the legal counsels of the petitioners in the complaints filed before the ICC against Duterte.

He said they will send to the ICC their pleadings and will ask the court to immediately lift the suspension of the investigation.

Meanwhile, Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra also urged the families of the victims who were allegedly slain during the government’s operations to directly file complaints before the Department of Justice (DOJ).

The DOJ also promised to provide legal assistance to the victims through the Public Attorneys Office and the Witness Protection Program. —/mbmf (from the report of UNTV Correspondent Dante Amento)

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

Robie de Guzman   •   September 9, 2021

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.

PNP welcomes DOJ review of cases vs cops cleared in drug war deaths

Aileen Cerrudo   •   July 22, 2021

MANILA, Philippines—The Philippine National Police (PNP) welcomes the reinvestigation of cases against police officers involved in anti-illegal drug operations and were  cleared of administrative liability by the PNP Internal Affairs Service.

The Department of Justice is eyeing to review the deaths that resulted in the course of the government’s war on drugs.

PNP Chief Police General Guillermo Lorenzo Eleazar assured the  full cooperation of the PNP in the planned case review.

“The PNP is open to any investigation dahil wala kaming itinatago. If the DOJ will push through with the review of the cases of those police officers who were already cleared, I will guarantee full cooperation. Ito naman ang assurance namin sa DOJ sa simula pa lang. Handa ang PNP na gawing available para sa review ng ahensiya ang alinmang case folder na hilingin nito,” he said.

The PNP previously submitted to the DOJ case folders of anti-illegal drug operations, where deaths occurred, for the agency’s review and investigation. AAC

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