Palace re­spects SolGen's move to with­hold drug war records

Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro - - Top Stories -

MALA­CAÑANG on Satur­day said it re­spects So­lic­i­tor Gen­eral (SolGen) Jose Cal­ida’s de­ci­sion not to sub­mit to Supreme Court a copy of per­ti­nent doc­u­ments on the deaths of some 3,806 in­di­vid­u­als in the le­git­i­mate po­lice anti-drug op­er­a­tions.

Pres­i­den­tial Spokesper­son Harry Roque Jr. said the ex­ec­u­tive depart­ment de­fers to Of­fice of So­lic­i­tor Gen­eral on the is­sue of not com­ply­ing with the high court’s order to fur­nish it a re­port on the drug-re­lated deaths.

“The So­lic­i­tor Gen­eral is the statu­tory coun­cil of the repub­lic. We re­spect de­ci­sion of the SolGen in this re­gard, as in fact, we re­spect the SolGen’s po­si­tion on le­gal mat­ters that it is de­fend­ing the repub­lic, pend­ing in any courts,” Roque told re­porters in Cebu City.

“So we de­fer to the de­ci­sion of the So­lic­i­tor Gen­eral, our coun­sel,” he added.

The Supreme Court on De­cem­ber 5, 2017 di­rected the govern­ment to re­lease doc­u­ments that con­tain rel­e­vant in­for­ma­tion con­cern­ing the Philip­pine Na­tional Po­lice’s (PNP) crack­down on il­le­gal drugs.

The high court asked the ex­ec­u­tive branch, through its le­gal coun­sel Cal­ida, to pro­vide de­tails, specif­i­cally about the iden­ti­ties of slain in­di­vid­u­als, con­duct of anti­nar­cotics op­er­a­tions, and names of re­spond­ing po­lice of­fi­cers, among oth­ers.

Cal­ida, in a mo­tion for re­con­sid­er­a­tion dated De­cem­ber 18, has re­fused to com­ply with the Supreme Court’s order, say­ing that the Duterte ad­min­is­tra­tion can­not dis­close “sen­si­tive in­for­ma­tion that have na­tional se­cu­rity im­pli­ca­tions.”

“It could spell the suc­cess or fail­ure of fol­low-up op­er­a­tions of polie and other law en­force­ment bod­ies, aside from en­dan­ger­ing the lives of those on the list as well as those al­ready in cus­tody,” he said in his mo­tion sub­mit­ted to Supreme Court on Thurs­day, Jan­uary 12.

“More­over, their sub­mis­sion would not only com­pro­mise on­go­ing po­lice anti-drug op­er­a­tions but like­wise put at risk the lives of in­for­mants who pro­vide such in­for­ma­tion,” he added.

Pres­i­dent Ro­drigo Duterte’s order to the PNP to in­ten­sify cam­paign against il­le­gal drugs has earned pub­lic scru­tiny fol­low­ing the deaths of thou­sands of sus­pected drug of­fend­ers in the coun­try.

The PNP’s drug war has sparked out­rage af­ter Caloocan po­lice­men gunned down two mi­nors, 17-yearold Kian Lloyd de­los San­tos and 19-year-old Carl An­gelo Ar­naiz, in a sep­a­rate drug raids con­ducted in Au­gust 2017.

This has prompted Duterte to strip the po­lice­men of its role in the anti-drug op­er­a­tions and del­e­gate the Philip­pine Drug En­force­ment Agency (PDEA) as the lead agency to han­dle the drug men­ace.

But in De­cem­ber last year,

the Pres­i­dent once again al­lowed the PNP to have an “ac­tive par­tic­i­pa­tion” in bloody war on il­licit drugs trade.

On Fri­day, Jan­uary 13, PNP chief Di­rec­tor Ron­ald dela Rosa vowed to have a “blood­less” drug war as the po­lice­men re­launch its con­tro­ver­sial anti-drug cam­paign this month.

Roque said the govern­ment trusts the PNP to live up to its prom­ise.

“Well, [the] PNP has said so. [The] PNP, if it does to re­vive Tokhang, would be un­der the over-all di­rec­tion of the PDEA that con­tin­ues to have the lead,” he said.

The pres­i­den­tial spokesper­son was also ex­pect­ing that the rogue cops would stop their wrong­do­ings af­ter the Pres­i­dent dou­bled their salaries.

“The Pres­i­dent raised the base pay of the sol­diers and po­lice­men be­cause he gives im­por­tance to their role, and at the same time, he knows that there are many po­lice­men who are into ex­tor­tion and per­haps, would be de­cent [fol­low­ing the salary in­crease],” Roque said.

“Now that they have a de­cent salary, our men in uni­form would not be more pro­fes­sional, al­though they are al­ready very pro­fes­sional. But to the erring [cops], the mes­sage is you have to change be­cause you al­ready have the govern­ment’s sup­port,” he added. (SunS­tar Philip­pines)

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Philippines

© PressReader. All rights reserved.