Violation of citizens privacy, others under ‘Tokhang’ tackled
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.
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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