DOJ not keen on creating independent commission to probe drug war

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, March 17) — The Department of Justice sees no need to create an independent body that will investigate the Duterte drug war, saying local authorities can handle it.

"That was mentioned to me but I don't like that idea. We are here, we are competent, we are capable, we are working, the system is running. What will the commission do? There's no value," Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla told reporters on Friday.

Remulla added that past commissions formed to look into certain issues did not work well.

"Marami na nag-suggest sa akin (Many have already suggested that to me). I always look upon it without any positive view because I've seen these commissions work before and they never really did a good thing," he said.

The Philippine government recently asked the International Criminal Court (ICC) to reverse its decision authorizing the resumption of the probe into former President Rodrigo Duterte's anti-drug campaign, as local investigations were already ongoing.

During Duterte's term, the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency said over 6,200 people were killed in anti-drug operations.

However, local and international human rights organizations estimate an even higher tally of between 12,000 and 30,000.