Philippine National Police

Now up to Año if drug war records can be shared – Eleazar

Jairo Bolledo

CASUALTY. Photo of a slain drug war victim.

Rappler

Philippine National Police Chief Guillermo Eleazar says the justice department has jurisdiction over the sharing of documents

Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Police General Guillermo Eleazar said Interior Secretary Eduardo Año has the deciding authority as to whether the documents on the drug war can be shared outside the Department of Justice (DOJ). 

Kaya kami naman, wala naman kaming itinatago sa mga dokumento na ‘yan kaya ipapakita namin sa DOJ. But outside of [the] DOJ, nasa chain of command tayo, and we will seek guidance through the SILG (Secretary of the Interior and Local Government),” Eleazar said in a press conference on June 15. 

(With us, we don’t conceal anything that’s why we’re going to open it to the DOJ. But outside of the DOJ, we’re in the chain of command, and we will seek guidance through the SILG.)

Just last month, on May 27, Eleazar said they left the decision to the justice department if the drug war records will be shared because it will be the one to review the cases and not the police. 

On May 26, Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra announced the PNP had agreed to open 61 case records where the PNP Internal Affairs Service had already found liability on the part of law enforcers.

Eleazar’s recent remarks on drug war records also came a day after International Criminal Court prosecutor Fatou Bensouda’s announcement that she will seek an investigation into the government’s drug war, including the Davao killings from 2011 to 2016.

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Limited access to records

During the PNP press conference, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque also announced the government’s rejection of Bensouda’s decision to probe Duterte’s brainchild. The Malacañang spokesperson claimed that the ICC investigation is unnecessary because the local justice system is already processing the war on drugs cases. 

Hindi po natin kinakailangan ang mga dayuhan na mag-imbestiga ng patayan dahil sa drug war dahil gumagana po ang sistemang legal sa Pilipinas. Mayroong mga piskal at mayroong mga hukumang naglilitis at nagparusa na,” Roque said. 

(We don’t need foreign people to investigate the drug war killings because the Philippines’ justice system is functional. We have fiscals and courts that prosecute and already punish erring cops involved.)

However, the government has yet to release data on prosecuted and convicted suspects involved in the drug war killings. 

On the matter of records, the PNP has also yet to address transparency concerns because only the DOJ has access to the drug war records. 

The Commission on Human Rights, whose primary function is to investigate all forms of human rights violations in the country, has long wanted access to the said records to conduct an independent investigation. But five years into the drug war, it still denied access. – Rappler.com

Jairo Bolledo

Jairo Bolledo is a multimedia reporter at Rappler covering the police, crime, military, and security.