Press Release
August 19, 2021

Dispatch from Crame No. 1,128:
Sen. Leila M. de Lima on the DOJ completing its report on the initial 52 anti-illegal drug operations where deaths occurred


Earlier this week, DOJ Secretary Guevarra confirmed that they have already wrapped up the investigation on the 52 anti-illegal drug operations where deaths occurred.

Of the thousands of deaths that resulted in children being orphaned and, worse, in children themselves falling prey to abusive policemen hiding behind Duterte's cloak of state-sponsored impunity, 52 is actually a poor representation. If anything, it's a good representation how a number can, in reality, be a bloodbath dressed up as an achievement.

Hindi ito ang hustisyang sigaw ng mga pamilyang naiwan at mga buhay na sinira.

But it is still a progress, no matter how little. A modest notch which should not stop us from seeking justice for all those unjustly, extrajudicially silenced by gunshots backed by a bloodthirsty President's promises of change that quickly devolved into fulfilled threats of carnage.

Ngunit tagumpay nga lamang itong maituturing kung pananagutin ang mga may sala.

However, when asked if the findings will be released after Sec. Gueverra reviews them, all he could mutter was that "if criminal investigation is warranted, witnesses and family members will be sought and called upon to provide information." Hindi masagot nang deretso samantalang simple at madali lamang dapat ang sagot. Syempre karapatan ng mga anak na inulila at mga asawang binalo ng gigil na kamay at putok ng baril na malaman kung anong nangyari, na maunawaan kung bakit kinailangang buhay ng mahal nila sa buhay ang naging kabayaran sa libangang kumitil.

Sec. Guevarra even gave us a runaround when instead of saying when the DOJ will be publicizing the results once he is done with his review, he just said that he would first consult with the PNP whether it could be released to the public.

Why would the DOJ require the PNP's assent? Why consult the agency being investigated if the DOJ can release the report? Sino ang ginagawa nilang tanga?

By choosing to evade committing to an obvious answer, that in itself, is answer enough: If they can get away with it, they will never let that incriminating report see the light of day. Much like the Ever Gotesco Shootout incident between PDEA operatives and policemen has been forgotten without an acceptable explanation from the agencies involved.

We have to demand transparency and accountability. If the perpetrators can shoot away in broad daylight, why should we not demand that they answer for their crimes before the public? Kung ikinasa niyo ang baril ng walang takot at walang habas, maging kasing tapang din dapat kayo sa pagsagot sa mga buhay na inutang ninyo.

This is why we continue to speak for the voiceless and the powerless.

This is why we demand transparency and sincere actions for all the lives that Duterte's culture of senseless violence destroyed.

Mr. Duterte, naniningil na ang hustisya at taumbayan, magbayad ka na at ang iyong mga tauhan sa mga buhay na inyong ninakaw. ###

(Access the handwritten version, here:

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