Another petition questioning the tokhang anti-drug operations of the Manila Police District (MPD) has reached the Supreme Court (SC).
President Rodrigo Duterte last week ordered the Philippine National Police to stop all tokhang operations and transfer to the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) the leadership of the government’s campaign against illegal drugs.
But despite this mandate, MPD operatives still continued such operations, prompting members of the religious and several residents of San Andres Bukid, Manila, to file a petition for a writ of amparo before the High Court.
A writ of amparo is a remedy available to any citizen whose right to life, liberty and security is violated or threatened with violation by any unlawful act or omission of a public officer, or of a private individual or entity.
The petitioners were represented by lawyers from the Center for International Law- Philippines.
In a 60-page petition of the 47 petitioners, led by Sister Ma. Juanita Daño of the Religious of the Good Shepherd, and Francisco Blanco Jr., brother of an alleged tokhang victim, they pleaded before the SC to bar the MPD Station 6 “from conducting any anti-illegal drug or anti-criminal operations in San Andres Bukid without the required coordination and presence of representatives from the barangay (village), the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, the media and such other persons required to be notified or having the authority to be present at and observe such operations.”
It was alleged that there had been 35 “drug-related deaths in the area” in the last 13 months and these covered 26 villages.
Among the victims were relatives of several of the petitioners.
The petitioners also pleaded for immediate issuance of a temporary protection order, which stops the respondents from making any threat or act that will violate their right to life, liberty and security, and that of their immediate families or relatives.