Rappler Talk: Prosecuting extrajudicial killings in the Philippines
MANILA, Philippines – There have been 5,000 deaths in police anti-drug operations in the Philippines, 20,000 if you count those killed by vigilantes according to human rights groups, yet the Department of Justice (DOJ) has only investigated at least 76.
From July 2016 to August 2018, the Department of Justice (DOJ) has investigated only 76 cases of murder and homicide nationwide related to the drug war, excluding numbers from Manila, Quezon City, and Taguig. The DOJ said it is still gathering data from the 3 cities.
Of the 76 investigations, 38 were dismissed, 5 are pending before prosecutors, and 33 have been filed in court.
One of those 33 resulted in a recent conviction: the high-profile case of 17-year-old Kian delos Santos, where 3 Caloocan policemen were found guilty of murder.
Human rights lawyer Cristina Antonio joins us on Thursday, December 6, to talk about the prosecution and investigation of extrajudicial killings (EJKs) related to President Rodrigo Duterte's war on drugs.
Antonio and her colleagues at the Center for International Law (CenterLaw) have been in the forefront of filing legal challenges to the war on drugs.
Antonio and CenterLaw documented 35 cases of EJKs in Sta Ana, Manila, over a course of 13 months, and accused policemen there of masterminding the killings. They brought this case to the Supreme Court to ask that the entire war on drugs be declared unconstitutional.
In the petition, CenterLaw alleged a pattern in police killings, and pointed to a loophole in prosecution.