Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?


Philippines eyes revival of task force on drug war

By John Victor D. Ordoñez, Reporter

THE DEPARTMENT of Justice (DoJ) on Wednesday vowed to revive an inter-agency task force that probed unlawful deaths in the Philippine government’s deadly war on drugs.

At the fifth United Nations (UN)  Joint Program on Human Rights Steering Committee meeting at the DoJ office in Manila, Justice Undersecretary Raul T. Vasquez said the task force would work on improving case buildup against erring cops.

“The department will endeavor on reconstituting the inter-agency review panel in order to reinforce the team and to inject the new paradigm on the case buildup and eventual prosecution of all the malefactors,” according to a speech by Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin C. Remulla that Mr. Vasquez read.

“We will work towards the hastening of investigation of unlawful deaths in the context of anti-illegal drug operations.”

The inter-agency committee formed 15 teams in 2021 that probed extralegal killings and human rights violations in connection with the government’s anti-illegal drug operations. 

The task force also investigated at least 17,000 policemen.

In 2021, the Philippines and United Nations launched the joint program on human rights to bolster cooperation between on human rights-based approaches to address rampant drug abuse in the country.

Mr. Remulla earlier invited Morris Tidball-Binz, the UN’s special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, to hold programs to improve local capacity in investigating drug war killings.

Ephraim B. Cortez, president of the National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers, welcomed the commitment but cited the failure of the task force to prosecute erring cops in the past.

“If they can make it work, why not,” he said in a Viber message. “But problems in investigation and prosecution persist despite the creation of various bodies before.”

Mr. Cortez cited the DoJ’s dismissal of a murder complaint against police officers despite substantial evidence in connection with the murder of a labor activist and nine other activists in 2021.

“The task force had failed to accomplish its goal to prosecute the killers and to gather evidence and investigate these cases,” he said.

The Justice department also plans to set up its own human rights office, which DoJ said would be the first of its kind in the country.

The Philippines has accepted more than 200 recommendations from the UN Human Rights Council, including investigating extralegal killings and protecting journalists.

The International Criminal Court (ICC) in January reopened its probe of ex-President Rodrigo R. Duterte’s anti-illegal drug campaign, saying it was not satisfied with Philippine efforts to probe human rights abuses.

ICC Prosecutor Karin Ahmad A. Khan has said the Duterte government had condoned crimes committed during the drug war.

Mr. Duterte canceled Philippine membership in the International Criminal Court (ICC) in 2018. Mr. Marcos Jr. has said the Philippines would not rejoin the international tribunal, noting that the probe is a threat to Philippine sovereignty.

The Philippine Human Rights Commission has said the Duterte government had encouraged a culture of impunity by hindering independent probes and failing to prosecute erring cops.

The UN Human rights Committee has said the Philippines should comply with international human rights mechanisms and cooperate with the ICC’s drug war probe.

In February, a delegation of European Union lawmakers that visited the Philippines urged the government to rejoin the ICC to show its commitment to human rights.

The government estimates that at least 6,117 suspected drug dealers were killed in police operations. Human rights groups say as many as 30,000 suspects died.

“I invite all our partner agencies and partner institutions to optimize all available resources, expertise and opportunities to achieve these goals,” according to Mr. Remulla’s speech.

“Let us continue to work towards uplifting further the rights of every individual and continuously improving human rights conditions in the country.”

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Get the daily email that makes reading the news actually enjoyable. Stay informed and entertained, for free.
Your information is secure and your privacy is protected. By opting in you agree to receive emails from us. Remember that you can opt-out any time, we hate spam too!



The province of Pangasinan wants to expand the range of products offered by its small and medium-sized businesses for the global market, moving beyond...


Instagram and Facebook users in the EU could face a charge of up to €13 a month if they refuse to sign up to...


BANGKOK — Thailand will restore confidence in its critical tourism sector, officials said on Wednesday, a day after a shooting spree at a luxury...


AT A World Trade Organization (WTO) event in September, former British prime minister Gordon Brown voiced out loud the fear that has quietly started...


KUALA LUMPUR — Malaysia will call on ASEAN’s main rice supplying nations to prioritize the bloc’s member countries amid concerns over rising prices and...


TAIPEI — China has “very diverse” ways of interfering in Taiwan’s elections in January, from military pressure to spreading fake news, including manipulating opinion...

You May Also Like

Top News

As the world seeks sustainable and energy-efficient solutions for heating and cooling, the heat pump market is experiencing a significant surge. According to the...


The Toto site’s user-friendly interface makes it easy for both beginners and experienced gamblers to navigate through the various features. “¸ÔÆ¢Æú¸®½º site is a...


Almost 100 jobs are thought to be under threat at smart home energy technology manufacturer myenergi. The Grimsby firm, named one of the UK’s...


JUNIOR FERREIRA-UNSPLASH The Philippines is a very small power market by ASEAN standards, with market demand peaking at 15 gigawatts (GW) compared to Thailand’s...

Disclaimer:, its managers, its employees, and assigns (collectively "The Company") do not make any guarantee or warranty about what is advertised above. Information provided by this website is for research purposes only and should not be considered as personalized financial advice. The Company is not affiliated with, nor does it receive compensation from, any specific security. The Company is not registered or licensed by any governing body in any jurisdiction to give investing advice or provide investment recommendation. Any investments recommended here should be taken into consideration only after consulting with your investment advisor and after reviewing the prospectus or financial statements of the company.

Copyright © 2021 SmartRetirementReport. All Rights Reserved.