PNP to validate claims of forensic expert on drug deaths

Legal Rights

The Philippine National Police (PNP) on Wednesday said it will investigate and validate the claims of a forensic pathologist on the allegations of falsification of several death certificates that were issued to victims in the government’s campaign against illegal drugs.

PNP spokesperson Col. Jean Fajardo made the remark on the statements made by forensic expert Dr. Raquel Fortun.

“On the part of the PNP, we have to also validate and see for ourselves kung ano-ano itong cases na ito (what these cases are). Mahirap magbigay ng general statement considering na hindi namin alam kung ano yung mga cases na nag undergo ng independent forensic examination nung grupo ni Dr. Fortun (It is difficult to issue general statements considering we don’t know what are these cases that underwent independent examination by the group of Dr. Fortun). But nonetheless, we respect their independent findings,” Fajardo told reporters during a press conference on Wednesday at Camp Crame in Quezon City.

Fajardo said the PNP could only issue a statement on the matter after validating the supposed cases involved.

“So, if there are some irregularities then we will conduct our own investigation. Some of the family opted not to undergo the customary autopsy but like I said if there are findings and our own investigation would establish that there are some lapses on the part of our investigators,” she said.

Earlier, Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said they would launch an inquiry on the issue.

Fajardo said they are willing to cooperate with any investigations involving the police organization.

Fortun had been examining exhumed remains of drug war victims since last July. She made a presentation on her findings after investigating the remains of 46 people who were killed during the first year of Duterte’s war on drugs.

She noted that of the 46 she examined, it showed that there was one missing death certificate while the others were incomplete.

Fortun also said seven of the death certificates showed the victims died of natural causes like sepsis, pneumonia, and hypertension.

Source: Philippines News Agency

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