Guevarra: 'Drug war' review report to be released in December

Kristine Joy Patag - Philstar.com
Guevarra: 'Drug war' review report to be released in December
This undated photo shows Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra at a Senate committee hearing.
The STAR / Mong Pintolo

MANILA, Philippines — The release of the Philippine government’s initial report on the "drug war" operations that resulted in deaths will be released in December instead of November due to recent typhoons.

Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra, whose department leads the review panel, said the recent calamities cost days to work on the report.

"The review panel is drafting the initial report. We lost a number of working days due to recent calamities, so we may be constrained to submit it in December. Kindly bear with us," he told reporters Friday.

The review panel is supposed to release its initial report in November. In the past two months however, three powerful storms battered Luzon. Typhoon Ulysses, the latest of the three, hit Metro Manila and Southern Luzon hard on November 12 and caused widespread flooding.

DOJ’s high-profile tasks

Guevarra told the United Nations Human Rights Council last June 30 that they will release a report by the end of November.

The "drug war" review panel figured in significantly in the UNHRC’s resolution released in October that pushed for capacity building to improve human rights situation in the Philippines, but stopped short in launching an independent, on-the-ground investigation, which rights groups have been calling for.

RELATED: EcuVoice: UN rights resolution a 'letdown' but no victory for government

But the "drug war" review panel is not the only high-profile task the DOJ is leading.

The justice department is also conducting a corruption probe into the “entire government,” President Rodrigo Duterte’s latest order to Guevarra.

The Administrative Order 35 Task Force conducting investigations into politically-related killings is also under the DOJ. The panel is conducting a probe into the murder of peasant leader Randall Echanis and rights worker Zara Alvarez this year.

Guevarra said the AO 35 Task Force will hold a Human Rights Summit on December 7.

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