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Leni: DOJ Initial Findings Confirm Lapses In Drug War

Leni: DOJ Initial Findings Confirm Lapses In Drug War
Illegal drug suspects are led in a police vehicle on April 25, 2019 following their arrest by members of the Quezon City Police District. Photo by Boy Santos, The Philippine STAR

The Department of Justice (DOJ)’s initial report on the deaths of alleged suspects at the hands of police officers confirmed lapses in the killings in President Duterte’s war on drugs, Vice President Leni Robredo said on Sunday, Oct. 24.

Robredo welcomed the DOJ’s report, saying those responsible for drug-related killings should be held accountable.

“Actually, the DOJ investigation is not yet over. But initial findings have shown lapses in the drug war,” Robredo said during her weekly program on dzXLl.

The Vice President attended on Thursday, Oct. 21, the blessings of urns of seven individuals killed in the drug war. She aired her frustration over being helpless in stopping the killings and apologized to the victims’ families.

She said she would ensure that victims of the drug war get justice.

She added a widow of a drug suspect killed in police drug operation told her that operatives made her sign a report that her husband died of pneumonia.

Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon said the DOJ’s report is not enough to deter the investigation of the International Criminal Court (ICC) into thousands of extrajudicial killings in the country.

The Pre-Trial Chamber 1 of the ICC granted an investigation into crimes allegedly committed in the Philippines between Nov. 1, 2011 and March 16, 2019 in the so-called war on drugs campaign of the Duterte administration first in Davao City and later across the country, he said.

Before she stepped down from office, former ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda filed on June 14 a public redacted version of a request to open an investigation into the drug crime situation in the Philippines.

According to Drilon, the government could use the DOJ’s report to prove that justice system is working in the country and ICC should not interfere in  its internal dealings.

Drilon told dwIZ on Saturday, Oct.23, that more than 6,000 people reportedly died in drug-related police operations and “five years after all these happened, there were 55 cases investigated.”  

“Let’s see if the ICC will accept this as proof that our justice system is working,” Drilon said in a mix of English and Filipino.