JUSTICE Secretary Menardo I. Guevarra on Monday said the police leadership has vowed to work with his department on the investigation of alleged extrajudicial killings, including those related to anti-drug operations.
Mr. Guevara said Police Chief Guillermo Lorenzo T. Eleazar has given the Department of Justice (DoJ) access to records relating to at least 61 cases where “clear liability” by cops has been established.
“General Eleazar expressed his sincere intention to cooperate with the DoJ in order to remove or discipline wrongdoers among the ranks of the police and thereby uplift the image of the PNP (Philippine National Police) as protectors of the people,” he told reporters on Monday.
The 61 cases were determined based on the evaluation of the police’s Internal Affairs Service.
“What is significant right now is that the DoJ has been given free access (to the PNP case records), something that did not happen in previous years, thereby making our review rather difficult,” Mr. Guevarra said.
The two agencies will sign a formal memorandum to make the agreement official.
Mr. Guevarra said this development “all boils down to a question of political will — the will to do what is right.”
Mr. Eleazar, the 6th police chief appointed by President Rodrigo R. Duterte, assumed the post on May 7 and will step down in November this year as he reaches the mandatory retirement age of 56.
Mr. Guevara said that the DoJ will continue to examine other case records available from its regional prosecution offices. — Bianca Angelica D. Añago