Press Release
April 13, 2022

Dispatch from Crame No. 1246:
Sen. Leila M. de Lima on the falsified death certificates of drug war victims


The findings of Dr. Raquel Fortun from the autopsies she conducted on the 46 exhumed bodies of victims of Duterte's war on drugs only confirm what we have known all along, that the victims were shot and killed, summarily.

What we did not know, and only found out from the autopsies, is that even their causes of death were faked in death certificates. Instead of gunshot wounds, the cause of death written on the death certificates was "natural causes" like heart attack, pneumonia, stroke, etc.

This is a clear indication that the war on drugs was an organized malevolent conspiracy that involved even medical professionals. Of course, the doctors would have not falsified the death certificates of the victims unless this was upon the orders or instructions of other people.

Doctors do not, as a matter of course, falsify death certificates because this is a criminal act and can result in criminal charges and the revocation of their license. There must therefore be a very compelling reason for these doctors to falsify death certificates, like force and intimidation, unless they were willing accomplices in the conspiracy from the very start. Regardless of the reason, they are liable for their criminal conduct.

The next step now is to identify the doctors or medical personnel responsible for the falsification of the death certificates of drug war victims. They should then be encouraged to turn state witness and reveal the names of the officials who ordered them to falsify death certificates. In fact, their security should already be of paramount interest now, since the release of the findings of Dr. Fortun has placed their lives in danger. As what happened in Davao City and its death squad under Duterte, there will surely be an effort to silence the weak links in the drug war conspiracy to prevent the discovery of the identity of its masterminds.

As in any cleansing operation of a conspiracy, the first to go are those found in the lowest rung of the conspiracy, the dispensable pawns. In so far as the masterminds are concerned, those who falsified the victims' death certificates certainly belong to this group of dispensable individuals. Because of this, efforts must be made by the DOJ immediately to ensure their security, if it is at all sincere in investigating and prosecuting the EJKs committed in Duterte's drug war.###

(Access the handwritten version of Dispatch No. 1246, here:

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