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CHR: PNP opening drug war records to DOJ a step in the right direction

The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) on Wednesday said the Philippine National Police’s decision to grant the Department of Justice (DOJ) access to its drug war records was “a step towards the right direction.”

The DOJ earlier said police have granted them access to records involving 61 cases where the PNP’s Internal Affairs Service found administrative or criminal liability on the part of the operating cops. 

“We hope that 61 cases is just a beginning and we look forward to more cases being investigated,” CHR spokesperson Atty. Jacqueline de Guia said in a statement.

She added the CHR has “repeatedly urged the government to be transparent and open in cooperating in the investigations of the said cases involving alleged extrajudicial killing related to the government’s drug campaign.”

The CHR previously lamented that restrictions on access to police records hampered its investigations into cases where victims were killed by law enforcers for allegedly “fighting back” (nanlaban). 

In March, the CHR sought the PNP’s “openness” to probes after the human rights body found a “strong indication of intent to kill” on the part of authorities carrying out the government's drug war. 

“As [the] conscience of the government… CHR also looks forward to more meaningful and constructive engagements with the government in pursuit of truth and justice for every case of human rights violation,” it said. — Julia Mari Ornedo/RSJ, GMA News