THE Supreme Court set oral arguments on the petition to stop the war on drugs on November 21, according to its spokesman.
“The parties in these consolidated cases are directed to comment on the petitions and the prayers for interim reliefs, such as temporary restraining order and the writ of amparo within the non-extendible period of 10 days from receipt of the order,” said Theodore Te in a press conference on Tuesday.
The respondents are Aileen Almora and Rowena Aparri of the Free Legal Assistance Group (FLAG) and Sr. Ma. Juanita Daño et al while the respondents are Philippine National Police Director General Ronald Dela Rosa.
FLAG members and alleged victims of President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs went to the Supreme Court (SC) on Oct 11 to appeal for a stop to the campaign that has spawned extrajudicial killings.
The petitioners questioned Command Memorandum Circular No. 16 – 2016, the governing document of the anti-drug campaign issued by the PNP chief on July 1, 2016. They sought to declare unconstitutional Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Memorandum Circular 2017-112 on the anonymous reporting of suspected criminals, for violating the right to due process of law and to be presumed innocent.
The Supreme Court en banc consolidated the FLAG-aided petition (G.R. 234359) with G.R. 234484 filed by Daño, one of the members of the Religious Of the Good Shepherd and residents of San Andres Bukid district in Manila.
The petitioners want the PNP to stop Oplan Tokhang, which has claimed thousands of lives.
Although the memorandum was signed a day earlier, President Duterte on Oct 11, the same day FLAG filed the case before the high court, announced that the responsibility for the war on drugs would shift from the PNP to the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA). JIM PILAPIL