RECORDS of President Rodrigo R. Duterte’s deadly war on drugs do not have national security implications, a senator said on Wednesday, citing a Supreme Court ruling in 2018.
“In the words of the Supreme Court, drug war records ‘do not obviously involve state secrets affecting national security,’” Senator Franklin M. Drilon said in a statement.
“That is, plain and simple, a police blotter,” he said. “This is public record and people have the right to know the truth,” he added in Filipino.
Mr. Drilon said police are “walking on a thin line between following the high court’s order or keeping the records under wraps.” “But they must abide by the court ruling.”
The Supreme Court ruling said drug war records “do not involve rebellion, invasion, terrorism, espionage, infringement of our sovereignty or sovereign rights by foreign powers, or any military, diplomatic or state secret involving national security.”
“To claim that it involves national security is unfounded,” Mr. Drilon said. “By any stretch of imagination, I could not think how a single poorest of the poor Filipino, who was killed in an anti-narcotic operation, planned to overthrow the government.”
The Philippines won’t give full access to records on its deadly war on drugs and anti-insurgency drive, Mr. Duterte said on Monday night, citing national security concerns.
The Philippine National Police (PNP) on May 25 said it would let the Department of Justice, which is leading a probe of drug-related deaths, access the records of 61 investigations against policemen in anti-drug operations.
A human rights group has said these make up less than 1% of more than 7,800 drug-related deaths.
National police chief Guillermo Lorenzo T. Eleazar on Monday said the PNP would soon turn over 53 out of 7,884 cases of extrajudicial killings, including those involving policemen, after the cases are authenticated. — Vann Marlo M. Villegas