THE Senate Committee on Justice and Human Rights found “Oplan Tokhang” of the Philippine National Police (PNP) violative of the constitutional rights of a person and recommended that adjustments be made to correct it.
This was one of the findings included in the committee report of the panel that investigated the spate of extrajudicial killings. The report will be released by Sen. Richard Gordon, the chairman of the committee.
Gordon said the constitutional right of an individual against self-incrimination is violated under Oplan Tokhang because suspected drug addicts were asked to surrender and sign a paper admitting that they were addicts without the presence of a lawyer.
Oplan Tokhang is part of the anti-drug campaign of the PNP. Under this program, police officers visit the homes of drug suspects to convince them to reform.
The PNP has so far visited 447,305 houses of suspected “drug personalities” that resulted in the surrender of 834,487 people.
Gordon said the committee found no basis to support claims that extra-judicial killing of suspected criminals was state sponsored.
The committee recommended the filing of murder charges against Edgar Matobato, who admitted to having killed several people, including Salim Makdum.
Matobato has a pending case for the supposed kidnapping of Makdum filed by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI).
The panel however did not give credence to Matobato’s testimony on the existence of the Davao Death Squad.