OSG asks SC for 2-month extension to submit anti-drug war docus

MANILA The Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) has complied with a Supreme Court (SC) order requiring it to submit documents in connection with the two consolidated petitions seeking to stop the government's anti-illegal drug operations.

The compliance, however, is only partial as the OSG formally asked the SC to be given two more months to submit other records enumerated in the High Court's order.

The respondents respectfully request an extension of 60 days from April 26, 2018 or until June 25, 2018 to submit other documents required by this Honorable Court, read the 12-page compliance motion for extension of time to submit additional documents, dated April 26, 2018.

The OSG has already submitted 29 cases actual death and injuries during police operations and 35 summaries of administrative cases of anti-illegal drugs operations.

During the three-day oral arguments in December last year, Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio and Associate Justice Benjamin Caguioa pressed for the list of documents they earlier requested from Solicitor General Jose Calida.

Carpio required Calida to submit a detailed report on the 3,806 deaths attributed to anti-drug operations carried out by the police from July 1, 2016 to Nov. 30, 2017.

The High Court also asked Calida to submit the records of all buy-bust operations conducted in San Andres Bukid, Manila, which is the subject of one of the two petitions, the pre-operations plan and post-operations plan.

Calida filed a motion for reconsideration, arguing that the Supreme Court cannot declare a law or ordinance as unconstitutional based on the abuses committed by its implementor.

The criterion by which the validity of the statute or ordinance is to be measured is the essential basis for the exercise of power, and not a mere incidental result arising from its exertion. This is logical, he said.

He said they have no intention to defy the High Court's order, noting that he filed the motion for reconsideration to strengthen the rule of law and prevent abuse of judicial processes.

Calida's motion was, however, denied by the High Court last April 3.

He earlier said the two petitions sought for a writ of amparo, which would stop the implementation of the Philippine National Police's Command Memorandum Circular (PNP CMC) No. 16-2016, or Oplan Double Barrel, and the implementing rules of the Department of the Interior and Local Government's Memo Circular (DILG MC) No. 2017-112 on the revised guidelines for MASA MASID, have no basis.

MASA MASID stands for Mamamayang Ayaw Sa Anomalya, Mamamayang Ayaw Sa Iligal na Droga.

The extraordinary writ of amparo is intended to safeguard every person's right to life, liberty, and security. It cannot be utilized, as the petitioners are doing, to harass, vex, or hinder public authorities in the legitimate exercise of their duties, Calida said.

The writ of prohibition, on the other hand, can only be sought by one who has legal standing, and when there is something to prohibit. These two conditions are clearly not present in this case. It is therefore not difficult to see that the present petitions are disingenuous moves to destabilize the Duterte administration and sow anarchy, he said.

The consolidated petitions were filed by the Center for International Law (CenterLaw) through lawyer Joel Butuyan, on behalf of the residents of 26 barangays in San Andres Bukid, Manila City and the Free Legal Assistance Group (FLAG), led by lawyer Jose Manuel Diokno.

The CenterLaw petition sought the issuance of a writ of amparo to shield the residents of 26 barangays in San Andres Bukid against the government's anti-illegal drug war.

The FLAG petition, on the other hand, sought to declare as unconstitutional the Oplan Double Barrel, which Diokno said allows the police to neutralize suspected drug pushers.

The group also filed the petition for the SC to issue protection orders for the relatives of three persons who ended up as alleged victims of extra-legal killings in the drug campaign. (PNA)

Source: Philippine News Agency

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