DOJ downplays opposition bet's smear on PH justice system

By Benjamin Pulta

March 26, 2019, 4:46 pm

MANILA -- Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra took exception to the disparaging remarks on the country's justice system made by opposition senatorial candidates in the course of their campaign.

"The negativist statements fail to give any credit to what our legal and judicial system has accomplished, and is quite surprising to hear from him," Guevarra said in a message to reporters, in response to a statement of a candidate claiming the country's legal system is "eroding".

The justice chief cited the recent conviction of three suspects in a drug war-related case, which he said disproves the insinuation of impunity by critics of the war on drugs, the basis for filing of complaint against President Rodrigo Duterte before the International Criminal Court (ICC).

In November last year, the Caloocan City Regional Trial Court convicted three policemen in the murder of Kian delos Santos in August 2017, which is among the controversial cases related to the administration’s war on illegal drugs.

Police officers Arnel Oares, Jeremias Pereda and Jerwin Cruz were sentenced to imprisonment of 20 to 40 years.

Guevarra issued the statement after senatorial bet Chel Diokno recently called the attention of the international community on the "eroding" justice system in the country amid the administration’s campaign against illegal drugs on the sidelines of the United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs meeting in Vienna, Austria. (PNA)