Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said Friday the inter-agency panel tasked to review the anti-drug police operations might release an initial report past its November deadline due to recent typhoons.
“The review panel is drafting the initial report. We lost a number of working days due to recent calamities, so we may be constrained to submit it in December. Kindly bear with us,” Guevarra said in a text message to reporters.
The Department of Justice leads a review panel of several government agencies, including law enforcement units, in reviewing 5,655 anti-drug operations that resulted in deaths to determine whether to file charges against the police officers involved.
Guevarra announced the formation of the panel weeks after the UN human rights chief, Michelle Bachelet, released a report finding “near impunity” for alleged extrajudicial killings committed in the Philippines.
Guevarra said the panel might be able to come out with an initial or partial report of its findings by the end of November.
Besides the DOJ, the Presidential Communications Operations Office, the Department of the Interior and Local Government, the Department of Foreign Affairs, the Presidential Human Rights Committee Secretariat, the Presidential Management Staff, the Dangerous Drugs Board, the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, the Philippine National Police, and the National Bureau of Investigation are part of the panel.
The Commission on Human Rights serves as an independent monitoring body.
Guevarra said the panel also intends to engage victims’ families by providing them with legal options and assisting in the prosecution of erring law enforcement agents.