WHAT WENT BEFORE: ‘Oplan Tokhang’
On Dec. 5, 2017, the Supreme Court ordered the Philippine National Police and Solicitor General Jose Calida to submit to the tribunal the official police investigation reports on the killings of more than 4,000 suspects in President Rodrigo Duter Duterte’s war on drugs.
The reports are part of the Supreme Court deliberations on two petitions questioning the legality of the drug war brought by the Center for International Law (CenterLaw) through lawyer Joel Butuyan on behalf of the residents of 26 barangays in San Andres Bukid, Manila, and the Free Legal Assistance Group (FLAG) led by lawyer Jose Manuel Diokno on behalf of a “tokhang” survivor and two other people whose relatives were slain in police operations.
The documents should contain the names, addresses, police operational plans and other important information about the entire “Oplan Tokhang”—the PNP antinarcotics campaign that spearheads Mr. Duterte’s war on drugs—from July 1, 2016, to Nov. 30, 2017.
Ordered submitted were the names of the police officers who took part in the operations and the members of the PNP crime scene investigators who processed the bodies and gathered evidence on the spot, as well as the police investigation reports on the alleged summary killings of drug suspects that the PNP officially described as “deaths under investigation.”
Invoking national security, the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) asked the Supreme Court in January 2018 to annul its decision.
Malacañang stood by the decision of Calida to withhold police reports on the killings on the grounds of national security.
But in April 2018, the Supreme Court rejected Calida’s appeal to rescind the December 2017 order.
In May 2018, the OSG sought another extension to comply with the Supreme Court’s order.
SOURCE: INQUIRER ARCHIVES, PHILIPPINE NEWS AGENCY
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