MALACAÑANG has finally received a copy of the human-rights report covering the previous year from the Department of Justice (DOJ).
Immediately after getting a copy stamped as received by the Office of the President, Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said that the information only forms part of the entire report.
In a statement, Guevarra hinted on the inclusion of the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) in further reports related to the review of drug war deaths after the agency noted that it was excluded in the inter-agency panel.
“The initial report dated 29 (December) 2020 has just been submitted to the Office of the President. Let’s give him time to pore over it. We intend to engage with the CHR in this endeavor. As I said, the initial report is only a partial one,” he added.
When asked to elaborate why they were only able to submit a partial report, Guevarra explained that working on the reports was hampered by the COVID-19 pandemic and travel restrictions, hence the inability to access records and work together.
“Our efforts have been severely hampered by current restrictions on mobility and physical access to records. Much collaborative work remains to be done,” he noted.
The CHR earlier took notice over what the commission referred to as failure to include their report.
The war against illegal drugs has been a primary campaign promise of President Duterte when he ran for office in 2016. While the drug war has led to the seizure of billions worth of illegal drugs, it has received strong condemnation from local and international rights groups amid allegations of extrajudicial killings.
As of November 2020, the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency said that 5,980 drug suspects had been killed in legitimate police operations since Duterte became President, while 269,046 have been arrested.