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SC orders government to submit records on drug war deaths

Kristine Joy Patag - Philstar.com
SC orders government to submit records on drug war deaths
London-based Amnesty International on Saturday claimed that drug-related killings are still happening despite the government's designation of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency as the lead office in the war on drugs.
Daniel Berehulak for The New York Times / World Press Photo via AP, File

MANILA, Philippines — The Supreme Court has ordered the government to yield its voluminous records on deaths related to the drug war, as the court resolves the consolidated petitions challenging the constitutionality of the administration’s war against drugs.

The SC en banc on Tuesday junked the motion for reconsideration filed by Solicitor General Jose Calida, filed on Dec. 5, 2017, asking the court to recall its earlier order to his office.

Calida is given 15 days from receipt of the order to comply.

Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio, now acting chief justice, said during the oral arguments that he wants documents on the 3,800 deaths related to the drug war that are currently under probe by the police.

READ: Calida asks SC to recall order on submission of drug war deaths data

Calida, representing the Philippine National Police and Department of Interior and Local Government, was ordered to submit the following documents:

  • list of persons killed in legitimate police operations from July 1, 2016 to Nov. 30 2017
  • list of deaths under investigation from July 1, 2016 to Nov. 30, 2017
  • list of Chinese and Fil-Chinese drug lords who have been neutralized
  • list of drugs involved whether shabu, cocaine, marijuana, opoids, etc.
  • comparative tables on index crimes
  • statistics of internal cleansing within the police force
  • drug watchlist in the affected areas
  • list of warrants and warrantless arrests in [high-value target] police operations
  • list of cases under investigation under Internal Affairs Service

READ: Carpio asks: Were there Chinese drug lords killed by the PNP?

The solicitor general initially said that he “will comply” with the court orders. He also asked the SC to extend the deadline, from 30 to 60 days, enough to collate the documents.

But Calida, in his appeal, said that the documents the SC wants are “irrelevant” to the assailed government circulars on the anti-drug war. He also said that required documents contain "legitimate police operations that were not undertaken pursuant to the assailed CMC," among others. 

Central to the petitions tackled by the SC are PNP Memorandum Circular 2016-16 for Project Double Barrel and the DILG’s Memorandum Circular 2017-112 on Masa Masid or the community dropbox project.

The prosecutor of the International Criminal Court has started a preliminary examination on the government's war on drugs based on a communication filed against President Rodrigo Duterte and his officials.

The Palace has said the ICC has no jurisdiction over the allegations against Duterte, saying the country's justice system and courts are still working. The Philippines has also formally informed the United Nations that it is withdrawing its ratification of the Rome Statute, the treaty that created the ICC.

Duterte was catapulted to the chief executive position riding on his promise to ruthlessly rid the country of drugs and criminality. The campaign has resulted in the deaths of at least 4,000 drug suspects although critics and human rights groups have higher estimates.

DRUG WAR PHILIPPINE NATIONAL POLICE SOLICITOR GENERAL JOSE CALIDA SUPREME COURT
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