OSG assures compliance to SC order on release of ‘Tokhang’ documents
MANILA, Philippines — The Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) has assured that it will abide with the Supreme Court’s (SC) order to furnish human rights groups with copies of documents related to “Oplan Tokhang” or the nationwide anti-illegal drug campaign led by the Philippine National Police (PNP).
“Upon receipt of the Supreme Court’s resolution, the OSG will faithfully abide with the Court’s directive,” the OSG said in a statement Thursday.
The office reasoned that it has refrained from releasing the documents because of sensitive items that involved national security. Aside from this, the OSG argued that revealing the nature of the operations may have an effect on future police operations.
“The OSG, however, made known its objection to furnishing the petitioners copies of certain documents because they contain sensitive information which involves national security,” the OSG said.
“It could spell the success or failure of follow-up operations by police and other law enforcement bodies, aside from endangering the lives of suspects and accused persons already in lawful custody. Hence, the OSG’s reservation on furnishing the petitioners copies of the said documents is founded on solid legal framework and public interest concerns,” they added.
On Tuesday, the High Court ordered the OSG to release the files on “Oplan Tokhang,” a year after the Center for International Law (CenterLaw) and the Free Legal Assistance Group (FLAG) requested for copies of the documents.
OSG however stressed that they never defied the Supreme Court’s order.
“From the time it was directed by the Supreme Court during oral arguments to submit the said documents, the OSG faithfully and promptly did so. The fact that the OSG submitted the required documents was duly noted by the Supreme Court in its Resolutions dated June 15, 2018 and July 10, 2018,” OSG said in a statement.
“There is therefore no truth to the reports that the OSG defied the Supreme Court’s orders,” it added.
Aside from slamming the violence involved in the anti-drug operations, critics of the administration’s war on drugs have also argued against the effectiveness of the drug war.
Since he took office in July 2016, more than 5,000 individuals have been killed in official police operations. Personalities and groups from the opposition however believe that the number may be around 11,000 to 30,000. /muf
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