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DOJ, NUPL laud conviction of 4 drug war cops

Ian Laqui - Philstar.com
DOJ, NUPL laud conviction of 4 drug war cops
This photo shows the family of Luis and Gabriel Bonifacio before the promulgation of the case of the 4 cops at the Caloocan Regional Trial Court on June 18.
Michael Varcas / The Philippine STAR

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Justice (DOJ) and the National Union of People’s Lawyers (NUPL) welcomed the conviction of the four police officers in the killing of a father and son during former president Rodrigo Duterte's anti-drug war campaign.

The DOJ and the NUPL released their separate statements after the verdict handed down by the Caloocan City Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 121 on Tuesday against the four cops. 

"This conviction is a milestone in our criminal justice system, a testament of the government’s unwavering efforts to safeguarding human rights in the pursuit of justice and a clear proof of a functioning justice system,” Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla said, as quoted in a statement. 

"This serves as a reminder to abusive police officers that no one is above the law, justice will eventually catch up with them,” he added.

On Tuesday, the Caloocan City RTC convicted Master Seargent Virgilio Cervantes, as well as Corporals Arnel de Guzman, Johnston Alacre and Artemio Saguros guilty of homicide for the death of Luis Bonifacio and his son Gabriel.

The lawyers of the slain family members considered the conviction a partial victory as they initially sued the cops for murder, a higher charge compared with the court conviction. 

The cops face jail time of 10 years and were ordered to pay the victims’ heirs P400,000 for actual, moral, temperate and civil damages.

In a separate statement, the NUPL also welcomed the Caloocan court’s decision, saying that the conviction is a “legal victory” but just “a footnote in a bloody chapter that has yet to end as bodies continue to pile up.”

“It has been a long and arduous journey for justice, fueled more by the courage and determination of the Bonifacio family as well as supporting organizations and individuals rather than by any genuine effort on the part of authorities,” the NUPL said.

“This case woefully demonstrates how ascertaining facts and evidence and building a case for a Tokhang killing faces immense challenges with police incompetence, inaction, indolence and overall culture of impunity,” it added. 

According to local and international human rights groups, the drug war, which was implemented during the time of former president Rodrigo Duterte saw estimated deaths of 7,000 to 14,000. 

vuukle comment

DRUG WAR

EXTRAJUDICIAL KILLINGS

HUMAN RIGHTS

PHILIPPINE NATIONAL POLICE

POLICE

RODRIGO DUTERTE

WAR ON DRUGS

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