PNP gives CHR access to spot reports of drug killings

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Story updated to include statement of CHR Spokesperson Jackie de Guia.

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, December 2) — The Philippine National Police (PNP) has granted the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) access to spot reports, but not the entire case folders of crimes.

PNP Spokesperson Dionardo Carlos on Friday said based on a memorandum, access to folders of active cases is limited, to ensure no judicial and investigative protocols and laws are violated.

"They can do their own investigation. Hindi naman po natin sila pinipigilan. However, yung request in everything, isa-isahin mo ang mga kaso na 'yanano status ng mga kaso," Carlos said.

[Translation: They can do their own investigation. We won't stop them. However, the request for everything, we need to review that one by one — we need to check the status of the case.]

The CHR is asking for police case files as it investigates alleged extrajudicial killings (EJKs) and human rights violations committed in the government's war on drugs, which the PNP used to head.

As of September, the CHR is investigating 772 cases of alleged EJKs supposedly related to the anti-illegal drug campaign.

READ: CHR probing 951 alleged drug-related EJKs since Duterte election win

Carlos said the CHR may still ask for access to case folders, but the requests will be up for review.

"Ito ba ay hindi kami mag-violate ng policy or regulation or hindi namin ma-violate korte? Isa isahin natin 'yan. So initially we can provide them immediately these spot reports of these cases," he said.

[Translation: If we do this, will we violate policy or regulation, or the court? We have to look at these individually. Initially, we can provide them immediately these spot reports of these cases.]

Carlos also said the CHR is welcome to join regular case reviews and audits if it wants to. He said the PNP is not hiding anything and is "very open."

CHR Spokesperson Jackie de Guia told CNN Philippines on Saturday  they will continue to reach out to the PNP "to seek truth and accountability."

"This week, the Commission received a letter from the Chief PNP granting us access to spot reports, but regrettably not the case folders," she said.

De Guia, however, said she is hopeful the police will consider their proposal for the creation of a Joint Task Force, which will audit alleged EJK cases. The agency also wants regular meetings between the two institutions.

In August, the PNP said it would provide the agency case files after talks between PNP Chief Ronald Dela Rosa, Interior and Local Government Officer-in-Charge Catalino Cuy and CHR Chairman Chito Gascon. However, President Rodrigo Duterte did not clear the release.

Police data show 3,906 people have died in anti-drug operations from July 2016 to September 2017. Human rights groups, however, claim the death toll is much higher.

Last October, Duterte removed PNP from the war on drugs amid allegations of police abuse, human rights violations and public outrage over the deaths in August of three teenagers allegedly killed by police.

He has since hinted that he may bring them back to the war on drugs again.

READ: Duterte: PNP will lead anti-drug ops again