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NBI ordered to probe killings in war vs drugs

Justice Secretary Vitaliano N. Aguirre II has ordered the National Bureau of Investigation to investigate killings allegedly related to the government’s campaign against illegal drugs.

“The NBI is hereby directed to conduct a thorough investigation of reported killings allegedly related to the campaign against illegal drugs except those cases already covered by Administrative Order No. 35 dated November 12, 2012 and Administrative Order No.1 dated October 11, 2016,” said Aguirre in Department Order No. 120 addressed to NBI Director Dante Gierran.

Aguirre also directed the NBI to submit a periodic inventory with status report of all cases it is investigating.
Administrative Order No. 35 created an inter-agency committee on extra-legal killings, enforced disappearances, torture, and other grave violations of the right to life, liberty, and security of persons.

Administrative Order No. 1 formed a presidential task force on violations of the right of life, liberty, and security of the members of the media.

Meanwhile, Justice Undersecretary Renante Orceo has told the United Nations Human Rights Council that the 30 cases are undergoing trial in various courts and investigated 1,089 incidents of extrajudicial killings since 2012.

“The government has an Inter-Agency Committee created under Administrative Order 35 that works to resolve cases of enforced disappearances, torture, and other grave violations of the right to life, liberty, and security of persons.

By domestic definitions, extra judicial killings applies only to victims belonging to any cause oriented groups or to those individual that advocate for similar cause,” Orceo said during his presentation to the UN body conducting a review of the country’s human rights situation.

“Hence, any crimes committed outside of these definitions are not included, and therefore, treated as regular crimes and prosecuted accordingly,” he said.

The inter-agency is composed of the Department of Justice, Department of the Interior and Local Government, Department of National Defense, Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process, and the Office of the Presidential Adviser for Political Affairs. (Jeffrey G. Damicog)

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