The Daily Manila Shimbun


SC issues temporary protection order vs survivor of anti-drug operation  

January 31, 2017

The Supreme Court on Tuesday issued a temporary protection order on a 28-year-old vegetable vendor who survived a police anti-drug operation last year in Quezon City.

The petition of a group led by Efren Morillo, the survivor who is to testify in the murder and frustrated murder charges against police officials, is the first case to challenge the Philippine National Police’s operations against illegal drugs where thousands are reported to have been killed.

The petition was filed last Jan.26 or a day after Chief Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno revealed the perception of the rule of law has diminished due to unresolved killings of drug suspects.

Morillo was joined by the families of slain drug suspects Marcelo Daa Jr., Raffy Gabo, Anthony Comendo and Jessie Cule in filing the petition through the legal assistance of the Center for International Law (CIL).

The Supreme Court’s decision came a day after the PNP temporarily stopped its anti-drug operations after several officials were said to be involved in the kidnap-slay of a Korean businessman last year.

During its en banc session Tuesday, the SC ordered  PNP Director General Ronald Dela Rosa and other police officials to answer the petition.

The respondents are given five days from notice to submit their comment by filing a return of the writ before the Court of Appeals, which was selected by the SC to hear the case and submit its findings.

The appellate court was also directed to decide on the other interim relief sought in the petition and "decide within 10 days after its submission for decision."

The Supreme Court’s temporary protection order prevents operatives of Quezon City Police Station 6, which did the operation in August 2016 within one kilometer from the residence and workplaces of petitioners. DMS