CHR Statement on the Court of Appeals’ Issuance of Permanent Protection to ‘Oplan Tokhang’ Victims

CHR Statement on the Court of Appeals’ Issuance of Permanent Protection to ‘Oplan Tokhang’ Victims

16 February 2017

PRESS STATEMENT

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The issuance of a permanent protection order in relation to the Writ of Amparo filed in behalf of victims of Extra Judicial Killings in Payatas, Quezon City sends a strong message from the Judiciary of its adherence to the rule of law and its commitment to upholding human rights in the country. It also fosters faith in our courts as the last bastion of defending the civil liberties of the people. It is also an affirmation that the methodologies used by the police in carrying out the campaign on drugs ought to be revisited as it is fraught with flaws and is susceptible to abuse as it may be a convenient cover for rouge elements within the PNP to commit other crimes.

The Commission on Human Rights lauds the Court of Appeals in their decision to grant the victim-survivor Efren Morillo and the families of Marcelo Daa Jr., Raffy Gabo, Anthony Comendo, and Jessie Kule a permanent protection order. Aside from not being allowed within one kilometer of the petitioners’ homes or work addresses, the respondent policemen are to be reassigned to offices outside of Quezon City and Montalban, Rizal.  The ruling also requires that the petitioners be furnished with a copy of the final report once the investigation into the incident has been completed by the Directorate for Investigation and Detective Management.

In its previous statement, the Commission already expressed its stand on deaths that were allegedly perpetrated by the police during their nationwide campaign against illegal drugs. The institution seeks to prevent “abuse of power by state agents that wantonly disregard adherence to the rule of law and lack of respect for human rights.” In reiteration, we urge the PNP to ensure accountability for its actions, justice for all the deaths perpetrated, and to ensure the safety of victim-survivors of ‘Oplan Tokhang.”

Once again, the Commission lauds the Judiciary for demonstrating the strength of our government’s checks and balances system and for upholding the rule of law in relation to this massive operation against drug-related criminality.

Contact Person:

Atty. Jacqueline Ann C. de Guia

OIC, Public Affairs and Strategic Communication Office

Telephone No: (02) 928-5792 / 09175919833

Email address: comms.chr@gmail.com

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