MANILA — A group of lawyers said on Wednesday it was “unfortunate” that the Philippine National Police had to keep files on drug war-related cases out of reach, following President Rodrigo Duterte’s order citing confidentiality.
“It is unfortunate that this is an effective march order which reverses what was an optimistic and tempting view of the so-called opening,” the president of the National Lawyers Union told the ANC. of the people, Edre Olalia.
He criticized the order for looking like “one-size-fits-all” cases because the president cited national security.
“What we’re saying is maybe we spoke too soon. Some of us spoke too early to say it’s encouraging. Let’s give them a chance in this policy change,” said Olalia.
He noted that the International Criminal Court, which opened a preliminary review of Duterte’s drug campaign, and the UN Human Rights Council would conduct their next session in July.
Police forces retracted a statement on Tuesday giving the Justice Department full access to documents related to the war on drugs in all cases examined by the PNP-Internal Affairs Service.
PNP chief Guillermo Eleazar clarified that his office can only share resolved cases with the DOJ for review. He said earlier that the PNP was prepared to grant the Justice Department access to all records of more than 7,000 deaths during drug operations “as long as the DOJ requests [their] availability.”
This developed after Duterte said they could not give all the documents for review because there were confidential matters that involved “national security”.
“Itong confidential documents hindi niyo pwede tignan iyan. Tignan niyo nalang ano nangyari. We don’t even mind you accompanying or being with an operating team, different teams but you are welcome to join, pwede kayo… you can keep a good distance and see how the government works, ”he said on her weekly TV show. Monday night address.
Official records show more than 7,000 people have been killed in drug-related police operations, while rights groups estimate the actual number to be much higher.
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