Thousands of drug war cases still up for review, panel to focus on urban areas next — DOJ

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, October 21)— The Department of Justice (DOJ) would still be looking into thousands more cases in relation to the government’s war on drugs, an official said Thursday, adding that the panel’s review would focus next on incidents in urban areas.

Anim na libo iyan na natitira na kailangang tingnan,” DOJ Undersecretary Adrian Sugay said during the Laging Handa briefing.

Pero sabi nga masyadong marami iyan, so we have a few months to do it, so ang napag-usapan namin… siguro nararapat na mag-concentrate tayo on certain urban areas,” he added. “Ang direktiba ni Secretary (Menardo Guevarra), maybe we should go after cases doon sa mga urban areas.”

[Translation: That’s 6,000 that we still have to look into. But that’s a lot and we have a few months to do it, so we have decided that maybe it would be better if we concentrate on certain urban areas. The directive of the secretary is maybe we should go after cases in urban areas.]

The DOJ on Wednesday released details on 52 deadly cases in the administration’s anti-drug campaign, with the report finding lapses in police operation protocols.

READ: Lack of records, negative gunpowder tests: DOJ releases drug war report

While the Philippine National Police welcomed the move for transparency, some rights and lawyers’ groups believe the review is insufficient and “barely scratches the surface” of the killings.

Sugay, for his part, vowed the work won’t stop for the DOJ.

Kung ano man iyong naibigay sa amin, ire-review namin [Whatever is given to us, we will review] and give the proper recommendations,” he said.