The country’s justice system remains robust, functional and competent to address challenges, even in the face of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid 19) pandemic, the Department of Justice (DOJ) assured.
In a taped statement delivered to the United Nations (UN) Joint Program on Human Rights on Sunday night, DOJ Secretary Menardo Guevarra reiterated the commitment he made in June 2020 for a comprehensive review of human rights cases despite the challenges of the public health crisis.
The inter-agency review panel is undertaking a judicious review of anti-illegal drugs operations where deaths occurred.
“Despite the constraints posed by, among others, the Covid-19 pandemic, the panel diligently pursued its work,” Guevarra said.
The preliminary report with initial findings was submitted to President Rodrigo Duterte late last year.
The DOJ said it observed deviation by wayward law enforcement officers from standard protocols, which require coordination with other agencies during operation and in the processing of crime scenes.
“The inter-agency panel has worked with the Philippine National Police to ensure that the disciplining authority act upon and carry out recommendations by the appropriate internal units for administrative and criminal actions,” Guevarra said.
The DOJ also cited ongoing cases involving accountability in human rights cases.
“The commencement of new investigations and prosecutorial action will depend on the outcome of the panel’s ongoing work,” he said.
The government is likewise looking after the welfare of persons deprived of liberty, a vulnerable sector amid the pandemic.Guevarra reiterated the government is committed to open dialogue and constructive engagement with the UN on human rights and noted it is presently crafting a program document which will provide an outline for credible and measurable outcomes and complete impact on the ground especially for vulnerable groups. SOVEREIGNPH