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DOJ drug war panel finished review of 52 cases —Guevarra

The Department of Justice (DOJ) panel that reviewed the 52 drug war cases forwarded by the Philippine National Police (PNP) has finished its report.

The cases involve findings of administrative liability against hundreds of police personnel for alleged misconduct committed in the course of the campaign against illegal drugs.

In a message to reporters on Monday, Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said he was going over the report.

Guevarra could not say whether the report will be released to the public, saying he would discuss the matter with the PNP.

Asked if the report would be released to the families of those who died in the drug war, Guevarra replied: “If criminal investigation is warranted, witnesses including family members will be sought and called upon to provide information.”

The department had also received 107 case files from the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) for review.

The DOJ leads a panel of several government agencies, including law enforcement units, in reviewing 5,655 anti-drug operations that resulted in deaths to see whether to file charges against the police officers involved.

A preliminary report with initial findings was submitted to President Rodrigo Duterte late last year.

In his report to the United Nations Human Rights Council last February, Guevarra said the panel’s preliminary findings showed there was no full examination of the weapon recovered, no verification of its ownership undertaken, and no request for ballistic examination or paraffin test was pursued.

Some law enforcement agents involved had also failed to follow standard protocols pertaining to coordination with other agencies and processing of the crime scene, he said.—AOL, GMA News