Duterte gov’t to give Tokhang documents to Supreme Court

Pia Ranada
Duterte gov’t to give Tokhang documents to Supreme Court
Malacañang says police will comply with the Supreme Court's order because they have nothing to hide

MANILA, Philippines – The Duterte administration will comply with the Supreme Court (SC) order to provide full documentation of the 3,000 deaths that arose from police anti-drug operations, said Malacañang on Wednesday, April 4.

“The Supreme Court itself has made the final order for the production of the order by the law enforcement agencies of the government. I guess we have no other alternative except to comply, subject probably to certain security checks or requirements,” said Senior Deputy Executive Secretary Menardo Guevarra during a Palace briefing.

The day before, the SC announced it had denied the appeal of Solicitor General Jose Calida for the revocation of the order to provide the documents.

Calida, in his motion for reconsideration dated December 18, said the documents cannot be released due to “national security implications.”

Guevarra recalled the concern, saying that, in giving drug war documents to the SC, government agencies will have to be careful in handling sensitive information like the identity of witnesses.

Asked if Malacañang would order law enforcement agencies to submit the documents, Guevarra said “there is no need” for such a directive.

“If that is the final order of the SC, all agencies of the government bound by that order are supposed to comply and follow,” said Guevarra.

He also expressed confidence that the SC order will have no significant impact on the success of the war on drugs.

“We don’t see any potential effect because the law enforcement agencies are not hiding anything in these documents,” said the senior Palace official.

President Rodrigo Duterte, however, has been known to verbally instruct the Philippine National Police to withhold documents from bodies investigating his drug war.

He has ordered them to snub the probe of the Commission on Human Rights and the Office of the Ombudsman, as well as that of United Nations rapporteurs. – Rappler.com

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Pia Ranada

Pia Ranada is a senior reporter for Rappler covering Philippine politics and environmental issues. For tips and story suggestions, email her at pia.ranada@rappler.com.