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DOJ fixing procedure for dialogue between NBI, kin of drug war victims

The Department of Justice is fixing the procedure for a dialogue between the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) andfamilies of drug war victims, Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla said Friday.

“We’re just doing the procedure for the victim’s family to come forward to the NBI and to have dialogue with them for their testimonies to be heard,” Remulla said in an ambush interview.

Remulla issued the remark when sought for comment on the findings of forensic pathologist Dr. Raquel Fortun on the cases of 74 drug war victims, including teenager Kian Delos Santos.

Fortun earlier questioned the previous autopsies performed by the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Public Attorney’s Office (PAO) on Delos Santos.

Fortun said there were indications that the PNP did not really open up and check Delos Santos’ body even though they made incisions.

Meanwhile, she questioned PAO’s autopsy result for supposedly failing to determine if the five holes found on Kian’s body were entry or exit points of bullets.

“I’m working on that already. There’s a turnover of documents to me and the NBI is working on these cases,” Remulla said when sought for comment.

Then 17-year-old Delos Santos was shot dead in August 2017 after he allegedly fought back during an anti-drug operation in Caloocan City.

A year later, a Caloocan City Court convicted three policemen of murder over Delos Santos’ death. The Court, however, acquitted the cops on the charge of planting evidence and of illegal drug charges.

Not part of ICC

Meanwhile, Remulla reiterated that the Philippines is not part of the International Criminal Court (ICC) when asked if the government will share the data with the body.

“We’re not members of the ICC. We can turn over some documents to the Solicitor General but we’re not members of the ICC,” Remulla said.

“And there is no procedure by which the ICC can operate here in spite of their claim. There is no agreed procedure because we are not members anymore,” he added.

The Philippines withdrew from the Rome Statute, which established the ICC, in March 2019 during the Duterte administration. Due to this, government officials say that the ICC has no jurisdiction in the Philippines.

The ICC, meanwhile, recently authorized the reopening of an inquiry into the Duterte administration’s war against illegal drugs— RSJ, GMA Integrated News