DoJ pursuing 151,818 drug cases against erring cops

DoJ pursuing 151,818 drug cases against erring cops

THE DEPARTMENT of Justice (DoJ) is pursuing 151,818 drug cases against erring police officers, while 121,582 have been jailed for wrongdoing during anti-narcotics operations, Presidential Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. said on Tuesday.

A total of 177 police officers in Metro Manila have been charged with drug-related offenses ranging from planting of evidence, unlawful arrest and excessive violence, Mr. Marcos said in a video posted on his Instagram account.

“These data are not just good numbers, but real improvement in the continuing fight against the proliferation of illicit narcotics,” he said.

Last week, the Presidential Communications Office (PCO) reported that about P10.41 billion worth of illegal drugs were seized in 2023, with more than 27,000 villages being declared as drug-free.

Earlier, the Philippine National Police (PNP) said 56,495 drug suspects were arrested last year in more than 44,000 anti-illegal drug operations.

Based on a joint report conducted by the Department of Interior and Local Government, the PNP and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), a total of 27,968 villages were cleared of illegal drugs, with 243 provinces, 447 municipalities and 43 cities implementing rehabilitation programs.

The International Criminal Court (ICC) in January last year reopened its investigation into alleged crimes against humanity committed during the drug of war of Mr. Marcos’ predecessor, former president Rodrigo R. Duterte.

The Hague-based tribunal, which tries individuals for crimes against humanity, aggression, genocide and war crimes, had said it was dissatisfied with Philippine efforts to probe extralegal killings and other human rights abuses during the campaign.

Mr. Marcos said his government was considering rejoining the ICC after Mr. Duterte canceled Philippine membership in ICC in 2018.

However, Mr. Marcos had also ruled out cooperation with the tribunal, maintaining that the Philippines had a functioning justice system and that allowing its probe would be a violation of Philippine sovereignty.

Solicitor General Menardo I. Guevara earlier said the Philippines is not legally bound to cooperate with the international tribunal’s probe since it is no longer a member. — John Victor D. Ordoñez