Goverment seeks two more months to submit ‘tokhang‘ files
The Office of the Solicitor General has asked the Supreme Court to give the Philippine National Police a two-month extension within which to fully comply with its directive to submit documents related to the government’s campaign against illegal drugs.
Nonetheless, the OSG, which represents respondent PNP, partially complied with the Court’s April 3 order, with the submission of at least 30 case folders of drug war-related deaths and injuries and other files to the SC, but said that more have yet to be “collected and validated.”
“The respondents respectfully request an extension of 60 days from April 26, 2018 or until June 25, 2018, to submit the other documents required by this Honorable Court,” Solicitor General Jose Calida said, in 12-page compliance.
Among the case folders turned in were related to the deaths of Ryan Dave Almora, Rex Appari, and Jomar Manaois, as well as the injury of Jefferson Soriano.
The SC last December ordered the government to submit the list of persons killed in legitimate police operations from July 1, 2016 to Nov. 30, 2017; list of deaths under investigation from July 1, 2016 to Nov. 30, 2017; list of Chinese and Filipino-Chinese drug lords who have been neutralized; and list of drugs involved—whether shabu, cocaine, marijuana, opioids, or others; comparative tables on index crimes.
The high court also required the police authorities to submit the statistics on internal cleansing within the police force; drug watchlist in affected areas; reports and documents regarding alleged drug war victims Aileen Almora, Rowena Aparri, and Jefferson Soriano; pre- and post-operation reports in all the incidents cited in the petition filed by Sister Ma. Juanita Daño’s group; buy-bust incidents in San Andres Bukid, Manila from July 1, 2016 to Nov. 30, 2017; list of warrants and warrantless arrests in high-value target police operations; and list of cases under investigation under the PNP’s Internal Affairs Service.
“The respondents need additional time to submit the other documents required by the court because said documents will still be collected and validated,” the OSG said.
The SC order was issued in connection with two petitions questioning the constitutionality of the government’s anti-narcotics campaign before the high court.
In a motion for reconsideration, the Solicitor General had opposed the submission of the illegal drug war documents, arguing that that the SC was venturing into “unwarranted factual inquiries” by asking for full drug war documentation.
However, the high court denied the motion.