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SC ORAL ARGUMENTS

Violation of citizens privacy, others under ‘Tokhang’ tackled

/ 04:18 PM November 21, 2017
Makati City

In Makati City, officers not mobilized for antiterrorism patrols resume the campaign against illegal drugs by distributing leaflets inside Magallanes, one of the upscale villages in Makati City which finally agreed to let policemen in and conduct the Oplan Tokhang campaign. AFP

When the police conduct a case build-up just because a member of a household refused police entry, does it violate the right to privacy? a Supreme Court Senior Associate Justice asked Tuesday during the oral argument on the legality of the government’s war on drugs.

Human rights lawyer Jose Manuel Diokno of the Free Legal Assistance Group (FLAG) agreed with Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio.

Aside from right to privacy, he said the public’s right against unreasonable search and seizure and right to be presumed innocent under Article III of the 1987 Constitution are also being violated by the police.

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Under the Memorandum Circular 16-2016, a case build-up can be conducted against any person who shall refuse to allow law enforcers entry into their household. The police officers, under the Oplan Double Barrel and Operation Tokhang, can go house to house and plead for suspected drug users to surrender.

“When the policemen knock on the door and the household people refused the policemen entry, is that sufficient ground to consider them as suspects?” Carpio asked Diokno.

Diokno said every “citizen has a right to refuse entry if there is no search warrant.”

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TAGS: Jose Manuel Diokno, Oplan Double Barrel, oral arguments on war on drugs, Philippine news updates, Supreme Court, Tokhang
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