PNP says confident cops will be held accountable in DOJ drug war probe

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 26 2021 06:05 PM

Workers carry the remains of an alleged drug war victim after its exhumation at the Manila North Cemetery on Sept. 17, 2021. Several remains were exhumed today after the leases on their graves expired. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News/File
Workers carry the remains of an alleged drug war victim after its exhumation at the Manila North Cemetery on Sept. 17, 2021. Several remains were exhumed today after the leases on their graves expired. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News/File

MANILA— The Philippine National Police said Friday it was confident that police officers would be held accountable for their role in drug-war killings, which are being investigated by the Department of Justice.

"We are confident that the DOJ investigation will succeed in establishing culpability of PNP units and personnel who may have stepped beyond the limits of their authority out of overzealousness, inadequate training or lack of supervision," PNP chief Gen. Dionardo Carlos said in a statement.

He said the PNP will welcome results of the investigation. 

"The PNP will accept whatever findings of the DOJ probe, to which the PNP assures its complete and unqualified support and cooperation," he said.

Should its cooperation with the DOJ serve the same purpose, Carlos said it would "gladly extend the same level of cooperation" to the International Criminal Court.

In September, the pre-trial chamber of the international war tribunal gave its green light for the ICC Prosecutor to conduct a formal probe on drug-war killings in the Philippines.

Officially, 6,200 drug suspects were killed in what police said were sting operations where suspects resisted arrest since the start of the Duterte administration.

But activists say many thousands more people, mostly users or small-time dealers, were killed in slum communities by mystery gunmen. Police have denied involvement in those deaths.

Last week, the ICC Prosecutor suspended its investigation into Duterte's bloody narcotics crackdown following the request of the Philippine government.

The Philippine Embassy in the Netherlands formally asked the tribunal to defer the probe, insisting that the government is investigating drug war cases.

In his statement, Carlos said it would continue the anti-illegal drugs campaign, which he said had "significantly made a dent in syndicated drug-trafficking activities in the country."

“But we want to re-start the campaign with a clean slate by ensuring that the mistakes of the past will remain in the past, and the reinvigorated campaign will bring the anti-illegal drugs campaign to a higher level, totally responsive to the requirements of due process, transparency and public accountability yet with more teeth and greater efficiency," he said.

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