Crime – Prison Cell Bars from Shutterstock.com

MANILA, PHILIPPINES — A Philippine police officer has been found guilty of killing two teenagers during former president Rodrigo Duterte’s drug war, court documents showed Tuesday, in a rare conviction of one of the crackdown’s enforcers.

During his six-year term, which ended in June 2022, Duterte openly ordered police to shoot dead drug suspects if officers’ lives were in danger.

More than 6,200 people died in the anti-narcotics campaign, according to official figures, but rights groups estimate the actual figure was in the tens of thousands.

Only three police officers had previously been convicted for killing a suspect during the crackdown, which sparked an investigation at the International Criminal Court (ICC).

On 1 March, a Manila court ruled that Jefrey Perez was guilty of murdering Reynaldo De Guzman, 14, and Carl Arnaiz, 19, in 2017, according to a verdict seen by AFP.

Perez was sentenced to a minimum 20 years behind bars.

He was already serving a lengthy jail sentence after being found guilty by a different court in November of torturing the two teenagers.

His co-accused, police officer Ricky Arquilita, died during the first trial. Both denied the charges.

De Guzman and Arnaiz were last seen together on 17 August 2017.

During the trials, a witness said he saw a police car parked on the side of a road and watched as a handcuffed Arnaiz alighted from the vehicle with hands raised, shouting “I will surrender” before the police officers shot him.

The body of De Guzman was found weeks later north of Manila. It had dozens of stab wounds.

President Ferdinand Marcos, who succeeded Duterte, has vowed to pursue the drug war but focus on prevention and rehabilitation.

However, rights groups say the killings have continued under his watch.

The ICC said in January it would resume its probe into the drug war because its pre-trial chamber was “not satisfied that the Philippines is undertaking relevant investigations that would warrant a deferral of the court’s investigations”.

Manila has appealed the decision.

— AFP

Subscribe
Notify of
0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
You May Also Like

Woman fined $5,000 for breeding cats without a pet farm licence

69-year-old woman was fined $5,000 by the Court today for using her residence…

TikTok chief faces US Congress as lawmakers mull ban

TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew faced skeptical lawmakers in Washington over the company’s alleged ties to the Chinese government. The video-sharing app, owned by Chinese company ByteDance, is under pressure from Western countries to cut ties with China or face a ban. Chew, a 40-year-old Singaporean, assured lawmakers that ByteDance is not an agent of China and that TikTok has never shared US user data with the Chinese government. However, several pieces of legislation are already paving the way for a potential ban of the app.

ICA: 750kg chewing tobacco and 6,470 cartons of duty-unpaid cigarettes seized at Woodland Checkpoint

The Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) officers at the Woodlands Checkpoint successfully…

Coming years ‘critical’ to slash plastic pollution: UN

A UN report warns that the world must reduce single-use plastics and disposable consumption by half to combat environmental pollution. Microplastic fragments have been found in various ecosystems and even in humans, raising concerns about their impact on health and the climate. The report calls for a three-pronged approach focused on reuse, recycling, and diversifying materials to achieve an 80% reduction in plastic pollution by 2040. Without action, plastic waste is expected to increase significantly, contributing to greenhouse gas emissions and endangering ecosystems.