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.