Palace respects SC order to release ‘Tokhang’ PNP reports
MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang respects the decision of the Supreme Court to order the release of all “Oplan Tokhang” reports of the Philippine National Police (PNP), according to presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo.
“We always follow the rule of law. The Supreme Court has spoken,” Panelo told reporters in a text message sent on Tuesday. “Unless it reverses itself upon a motion for reconsideration by the Solicitor General, obedience to its ruling should come as a matter of course.”
“Tokhang” is the combination of two Cebuano words – “toktok” or “to knock” and “hangyo” or “to plead.” It refers to a police operation in which officers knock at homes and plead with residents to stay away from or give up illegal drugs.
Earlier, the high court ordered the Office of the Solicitor General to release all “Oplan Tokhang” police reports to human rights groups and relatives of those who have been killed, allegedly for resisting arrest or fighting back, during drug operations.
The thousands of killings during such operations have prompted various groups to question their legality.
Petitioners that will be given copies are the Center for International Law (CenterLaw) on behalf of residents of 26 barangays in San Andres Bukid in Manila and the Free Legal Assistance Group (FLAG).
Senatorial candidate Ronald de la Rosa, who headed President Rodrigo Duterte’s brutal war on drugs as PNP chief from July 2016 to April 2018, said he welcomed the SC decision and maintained that he had nothing be afraid of. /atm
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