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Anong paki nyo? Calida bucks SC’s order for details on ‘Tokhang’ victims

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Soliitor General Jose Calida has asked the Supreme Court (SC) to no longer seek the list and the details of the 3,806 persons killed during police anti-drug operations from July 1 up to November 30 of 2017.

In his motion for consideration, Calida pointed out such documents being sought by the SC are “not relevant” to the issue determining the constitutionality of the government’s anti-illegal drugs campaign under Oplan Double Barrel.

“Moreover, their submission would not only compromise ongoing polie anti-drug operations but likewise put at risk the lives of informants who provide such information,” he pointed out.

Calida explained “Like all constitutional guarantees, the right to information, with its companion right of access to official records, is not absolute.”

“While providing guaranty for that right, the Constitution also provides that the people’s right to know is limited to ‘matters of public concern’ and is further subjected to such limitations as provided by law,” he added.

Citing jurisprudence, he said this right to information is limited to: “national security matters; trade secrets and banking transactions; criminal matters; and other confidential information such as confidential or classified information officially known to public officers and employees by reason of their office and not made available to the public as well as diplomatic correspondence, closed door Cabinet meetings and executive sessions of either house of Congress, and the internal deliberations of the Supreme Court.”

The SC sought the documents relating to all the 3,806 killed during the oral arguments it conducted in 2017 over the consolidated petitions filed by the Center for International Law (CenterLaw) and the Free Legal Assistance Group (FLAG).

CenterLaw and FLAG filed the petitions to stop the illegal drug operations which already resulted in the deaths of numerous suspected drug suspects.