DOJ lists possible sanctions vs. erring police officers in drug war deaths

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, October 5) — The Department of Justice on Tuesday identified possible sanctions for police officers involved in its review of over 50 drug war-related cases.

“Pwede sila siyempre matanggal sa serbisyo, pwedeng demotion, pwedeng suspension. Depende iyan sa pagka-grabe ng nangyari, kung may nakita ngang accountability o may nakitang possible [administrative] liability,” DOJ Undersecretary Adrian Sugay said in a Laging Handa briefing.

[Translation: They can be removed from their post. Some could face demotion or suspension. It depends on the gravity of the situation, and if they have accountability or possible liability.]

“Pagdating naman doon sa criminal liability…pwedeng makasuhan sila ng — kung nakita na talagang may intensiyon na pagpatay sa dito sa ating mga drug suspects — pwede silang makasuhan ng murder or at the very least, homicide,” he added.

[Translation: When it comes to the criminal liability, if proven there was really an intention to kill the drug suspects — they can face murder or at the very least, homicide.]

Sugay said the department looked at 51 cases and found lapses committed by most of the officers who conducted the operations that led to the death of drug suspects. The department earlier said over 150 police officers were involved in the operations.

“Karamihan dito sa mga kaso na ito ay talagang kailangang tingnan ng mabuti at mukhang may mga proseso o yung ating tinatawag na police protocols na hindi natupad,” he said.

[Translation: It seems processes and police protocols were not followed in most of the cases.]

Sugay said DOJ will turn over its findings to the National Bureau of Investigation, which will conduct case buildup and file criminal complaints if warranted by the evidence.

He noted the case folders the DOJ will submit to the NBI already contain pieces of evidence.