SC justices ask gov't to submit reports on drug war killings

Arianne Merez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 05 2017 05:55 PM

MANILA- Magistrates of the Supreme Court on Tuesday asked the Duterte administration to submit reports on the more than 3,800 alleged drug suspects killed in presumed-legitimate police anti-drug operations.

Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio urged the executive branch, through its counsel, Solicitor General Jose Calida, to submit reports on the 3,806 people reportedly killed in police anti-drug operations since President Duterte took over last year.

“Can you submit to the court the following data or reports, on the 3,806 who were killed in supposedly legitimate police drug operations since July 1, 2016 and include also until end of November 2017?” Carpio asked.

Carpio specifically asked for the following information:

  1. Names, addresses, gender, ages of those killed
  2. Place, date, and the time of drug operations
  3. Names of PNP team leaders and members of the drug operations
  4. Pre-operation plan
  5. Post-operation report
  6. Whether a warrant was issued
  7. Names of barangay officials, media representatives, members of non-government organizations present during the drug operation.

He also asked for the same records for cases classified as "deaths under investigation."

Associate Justice Marvic Leonen requested that the reports come with statistics on the kinds of drugs seized in different police operations.

"When you submit the statistics as requested by Carpio, would you be so kind enough to distinguish the kinds of drugs that are involved so we know?" he said.

Associate Justice Alfredo Benjamin Caguioa also requested for copies of reports on the 25 people killed in buy-bust operations in San Andres Bukid as provided in a petition backed by lawyers from the Center for International Law (Centerlaw).

"Can I request the list, all the reports for each of the 25 people who are claimed to have been killed in a valid police operation?" Caguioa said.

Calida agreed to submit the requested documents.

Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno, meanwhile, asked for a copy of the Philippine National Police's (PNP) drug watchlist in the communities mentioned in petitions challenging the government's anti-narcotics campaign as well as their respective statuses--whether they have been killed, arrested, etc.

"Can we have the PNP submit the drug watchlist in the communities mentioned in the petitions?" she said.

Calida, however, did not immediately heed to the top magistrate's request, saying they will "assess" their position first.

The Supreme Court is hearing arguments on 2 petitions challenging the constitutionality of the government's campaign against illegal drugs.

One petition filed by human rights group Free Legal Assistance Group seeks to declare as unconstitutional a police memorandum circular which, it says, expressly authorized troops to kill drug suspects.

Another petition, from Centerlaw, meanwhile, seeks to bar police from conducting anti-illegal drugs or anti-crime operations in San Andres Bukid, Manila without the presence of representatives from the barangay, the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, and the media, among others.

Both petitions are seeking a writ of amparo, which may be issued by the high tribunal to any citizen whose rights to life, liberty and security are threatened by unlawful acts from public or private individuals.