MANILA — The Department of Justice has found "possible criminal liability" on the part of police officers involved in the cases that the agency reviewed, Secretary Menardo Guevarra said Sunday.
"Based on the facts gathered by the PNP (Philippine National Police) Internal Affairs Service, the police officers involved in these cases were not only administratively liable, the existing evidence pointed to their possible criminal liability as well," Guevarra said.
He was referring to the 52 cases from the files of the PNP, which are part of the DOJ's second drug war review. The agency completed its first drug war review report in December 2020.
Around 154 police officers were involved in the cases, according to Guevarra.
The justice secretary said the cases would be endorsed to the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) "for case build-up and filing of criminal complaints if warranted by the evidence."
"The NBI and the PNP agreed to coordinate with each other in this endeavor," Guevarra said, adding that a meeting among the involved agencies is scheduled to take place on Tuesday, Oct. 5.
Guevarra added that the PNP and DOJ would "institutionalize cooperation" in investigating similar cases in the future.
"In the meantime, the DOJ will also focus attention on the nearly 100 cases across the country which are either pending preliminary investigation or court trial, involving law enforcement agents charged with or accused of violating the law in connection with the war on drugs," he said.
Last month, the International Criminal Court (ICC) announced it would investigate President Rodrigo Duterte's drug war campaign, which has killed thousands of suspected drug users and other civilians during law enforcement operations.
Malacañang has several times said President Duterte would not participate in the ICC's probe into his anti-narcotics campaign.
— With a report from Mike Navallo, ABS-CBN News