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DOJ releases matrix on 52 drug war deaths

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The Department of Justice (DOJ) on Wednesday released an information table on the death of 52 individuals during the government’s war on drugs.

In a 21-page report, the matrix contained information table naming several incidents where cops were involved in fatal arrests but got slap on the wrist despite shooting people dead.

Common in multiple incidents which was investigated by the Philippine National Police Internal Affairs Service (PNP IAS) showed cops claiming suspects fired at anti-drug operatives prompting them to shoot back to defend themselves.

However, in the said report, most cases have no detailed eyewitness accounts about how the events transpired and forensic evidence also proved otherwise.

The IAS also noted a particular case where a suspect sustained three gunshot wounds as paraffin test on both hands showed the suspect was negative for gunpowder nitrates.

The IAS was referring to the circumstances that led to the killing of 17-year-old Nave Perry Alcantara in Tuguegarao in August 2018.

One of the cops only received a 60-day suspension while administrative charges were dropped against his fellow operatives.

Other cops were just demoted or suspended for a couple of months despite having blood on their hands.

The report also cited the shooting of Adan Abarkis in Biñan, Laguna in 2018 where cops involved were meted with a 60-day suspension despite medico-legal findings that the suspect died from being shot at “close range” on his head and chest.

The matrix also cited the death of three people on 29 July 2016, after police officers flagged a vehicle in a checkpoint in Liloy, Zamboanga del Sur.

The unidentified number of cops involved in the operation were dismissed from the service.

Justice Undersecretary Adrian Sugay defended the decision of the DOH to withhold the names and the number of police officers involved in the operations as the cases have already been referred to the National Bureau of Investigation.

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