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Guevarra tells critics of inter-agency panel to shut up: Let us work first

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Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra on Thursday (July 2) told critics to to shut up and allow the inter-agency panel first to review the 5,655 anti-illegal drugs operations which have resulted in killings.

“It will be for everyone’s good to allow this inter-agency panel to do what it has set out to do, and reserve judgment at the proper time,” he said.

“This panel needs all the help that it can get, including from those who seek to discredit it much too early,” he added.

Recently, Guevarra informed the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) that the government has formed an inter-agency panel to review these 5,655 operations.

“It will present a report on its work by the end of November of this year,” he told the UNHRC.

The secretary explained the panel is “external to the Philippine National Police (PNP)” and “re-evaluates these cases and examines the propriety of re-investigating them or filing appropriate charges against erring law enforcement officers.”

“The panel intends to engage affected families, provide them with legal options, and assistance in criminal prosecution of law enforcers who have overstepped legal bounds in their operations,” he added.

Without the panel, Guevarra pointed out that the PNP is “obliged by its internal mechanism to conduct motu proprio investigations whether or not there are complainants on all law enforcement operations that result in deaths, and take action on this basis.”

“This review mechanism will not only reinforce accountability on the drug campaign, it will tighten the web on existing mechanisms to prevent cases of impunity, including the inter-agency committee on the extralegal killings, enforced disappearances, torture and other grave violations to life, liberty and security of persons,” he assured.

Guevarra added that the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) is also involved in the review “as an independent monitoring body.”

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