Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra on Sunday said he expects the Philippine National Police and the National Bureau of Investigation to give their positions on a draft memo that would serve as their guidelines in probing questionable operations against illegal drugs where there are allegations the suspect who died fought back or “nanlaban.”
Guevarra revealed that Justice Undersecretary Adrian Ferdinand Sugay had finished drafting the memorandum of agreement which has already been transmitted to the PNP and NBI for their comments and review.
According to him, Sugay submitted to him the draft MOA last Friday, Oct. 15. The PNP and NBI would be given a week to submit their inputs.
“The draft was sent last Friday to the NBI and the PNP. They will be given a reasonable period, maybe a week, to beef up the MOA and include such operational matters as they may deem necessary,” Guevarra said, in a text message.
The Justice Secretary said it was only appropriate to consult the two agencies since they would be the ones that would be investigating the anti-illegal drugs operations that led to deaths.
The MOA would serve as a common mechanism to be used by the PNP and the NBI in the conduct of investigation on PNP drug war operations that turn out as extra-judicial killings (EJKs).
There had been previous allegations that in some drug war operations, people were killed but the police made it appear that their target fought back or “nanlaban.”
The police story would sometimes run contrary to the accounts of some witnesses who would claim that the victims did not retaliate against the arresting officers.
The DOJ-led review panel recently submitted to President Duterte its report and findings of its investigation determining if there was criminal liability against the 154 policemen who took part in the 52 PNP drug war cases that resulted in death.
These 154 policemen are already facing administrative liability before the PNP.
Currently, the DOJ panel is investigating 107 illegal drug operations conducted by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency.