Conviction vs. Caloocan cops proof that system is working

Though the country’s justice system is not perfect, the recent conviction of four police officers over killings during a drug operation in 2016 shows that it is functioning, Solicitor General Menardo Guevarra said Wednesday.

“This development proves what I have been saying all along; i.e., that our legal system, while admittedly not perfect, is functioning as it should,” Guevarra said in a message to reporters.

He said that the International Criminal Courts (ICC), which seeks to investigate deaths during the Duterte administration’s drug war, cannot put the country in a “straightjacket” by demanding immediate results.

“Our domestic institutions give every person under investigation or prosecution his/her day in court, and while this process may take time, it nonetheless serves justice to everyone in the end,” he said.

Guevarra issued the remark when sought for comment on a Caloocan court finding four police officers guilty of homicide and sentencing them to up to 10 years of imprisonment for the killing of Luis Bonifacio and his son, Gabriel Lois in September 2016.

Despite this, the family of the victims consider the conviction as “a partial victory” because they filed murder charges.

For its part, the National Union of People’s Lawyers-National Capital Region (NUPL-NCR)  said that Luis and Gabriel Lois were only two out of 6,200 victims who were killed during the drug war operations.

The NUPL said the struggle to seek justice continues. 

Meanwhile, Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla welcomed the conviction, saying it was a “milestone.”

“This conviction is a milestone in our criminal justice system, a testament of the government’s unwavering efforts to safeguard human rights in the pursuit of justice and a clear proof of a functioning justice system,” he said.

Remulla also stressed that the conviction is a reminder to erring police officers that no one is above the law.

The Philippines, under Duterte, withdrew from the Rome Statute, the treaty that established the ICC, in 2019 after the tribunal began a probe into his administration’s drug war.—AOL, GMA Integrated News


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