Malacañang said the Department of Justice’s move to endorse 250 cases of drug war deaths for investigation does not reinforce the allegations of human rights violations in President Duterte’s war on drugs.
Instead, it shows that the country has a mechanism for accountability, acting Presidential Spokesperson Karlo Nograles said Tuesday, March 1.
“No,” Nograles said when asked during a press briefing if the endorsement of the 250 cases of deaths arising from the government’s anti-illegal drugs operations in Central Luzon by Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra to the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) will strengthen the allegations of human rights violations against Duterte.
“What it shows very clearly is that there is a mechanism for accountability that is working here in our country, in our jurisdiction,” Nograles added.
At the 49th Session of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC), Guevarra told the body that the Department of Justice “is now prepared to endorse” the 250 cases for investigation.
He further updated the Council that the NBI is currently preparing five more complaints to initiate the prosecution process against erring law enforcement officers.
Nograles, who also serves as Duterte’s Cabinet Secretary, stressed that the administration “does not condone any abuses made by any official or worker in government.”
He further said that if there are abuses, “we will prosecute and deal with these abuses and those who are abusing their authority with the fullest extent of the law,” adding that “mechanisms are working in this country that afford and ensure that justice is served.”
Guevarra also emphasized this during the UN engagement as he underlined the determination of Philippine justice and law enforcement institutions to instill respect for human rights and exact accountability for violators.
The Justice chief also underscored the line drawn by the government between parties that engage in good faith and those that abuse and exploit these mechanisms to make demands of accountability with little or no factual basis.
He also assured the body that “the country’s commitment and positive engagements will remain unaffected” with the forthcoming May national elections.
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