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SC orders Calida to release records on drug war
By Vann Marlo M. Villegas, Reporter
THE Supreme Court (SC) ordered Solicitor-General Jose C. Calida to release pertinent police documents on the government’s “war on drugs” to petitioners questioning the constitutionality of the anti-drug campaign.
“The Court just ordered the (Solicitor-General) to submit the police reports to the Supreme Court, copy-furnishing the petitioners,” SC Public Information Chief Brian Keith F. Hosaka said in a press briefing in Baguio City.
This case stemmed from the 2017 petitions of the Center for International Law (CenterLaw) and Free Legal Assistance Group (FLAG) which sought the SC’s intervention in the drug war.
CenterLaw sought a writ of amparo to protect residents of 26 towns in San Andres Bukid, Manila, from the antidrug campaign while FLAG questioned the constitutionality of that campaign.
The SC held oral arguments on the petitions, then ordered the Office of the Solicitor-General (OSG) in December that year to submit pertinent documents on antidrug operations by the police from July 1, 2016 to Nov. 30, 2017.
That same month, the OSG filed a motion for reconsideration, arguing that the records being sought are a matter of national security, among other grounds.
The high court denied the OSG’s appeal and directed it to comply with the order. CenterLaw, in February this year, filed a reiterative motion to be furnished with copies of the documents submitted by the OSG only to the SC.
In a related development, the SC tasked Associate Justice Diosdado M. Peralta “to coordinate and communicate directly” with the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) in determining reports about “judges purportedly linked to the illegal drug trade.”
“This will pave the way for a formal fact-finding and administrative investigation by the Supreme Court,” Mr. Hosaka said.
“The Supreme Court, like in the past, will and shall not tolerate any illegal or corrupt activities within its ranks,” he added.