Photo by Luis Liwanag

Centerlaw says OSG,PNP gave them ‘rubbish’, files contempt charge

The Philippine National Police and the Office of the Solicitor General had been opposing the release of documents related to the more than 20,000 drug related deaths. But last April, voting unanimously, the Supreme Court ordered the two agencies to submit the documents being demanded by families of the victims.

The OSG and PNP finally submitted documents but the Center for International Law said they were ‘rubbish’.

Centerlaw, which represents families of the victims of the drug war in 28 barangays in San Andres Bukid filed a motion today to cite the OSG and PNP in contempt of court disclosing that the OSG and PNP have defied the Supreme Court three times on the latter’s order to release the documents with respect to the total of 20,322 drug-related deaths which the government itself claimed as accomplishment for the period from July 1, 2016, to November 27, 2017.

Here are some excerpts from the motion filed by Centerlaw:

The OSG and PNP defy again the Supreme Court by submitting irrelevant non-drug related case files

1. For the third time, the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) defy the Supreme Court.

2. On 17 May 2019, the OSG and PNP furnished the petitioners 289 compact discs (CDs/DVDs) in what they represented to be their full compliance with the repeated orders of the Supreme Court for the government to give Petitioners the required documents on 20,322 drug-related deaths.

3. When an examination of an ample sampling of the files contained in the CDs/DVDs was made, it became clear that an overwhelming number of the death incidents submitted by the OSG and PNP are non-drug related cases.

4. Out of 1,792 death files that have been inspected by the Petitioners so far: consisting of 801 “solved” cases and 991 “unsolved” cases as classified by police authorities, the following are the glaring findings:

a. 90.01% of the solved cases submitted are not drug-related, and;

b. 55.80% of the unsolved cases submitted are not drug-related.

5. In other words, only 9.99% of the solved cases are “possibly drug-related” and only 44.20% of the unsolved cases are “possibly drug-related” deaths.

a. Cases which are tagged as “possibly drug-related” are those which implicate the deceased victim as a possible drug user or pusher, a surrenderee, or part of a drug watchlist.

b. Cases which are tagged as “not drug related” are those which do not indicate any relation of the deceased victim to drugs. These also refer to cases where the PNP itself has labelled their folders as “non-drug related (NDR).”

6. The cases which are not drug-related include incidents of stabbing, mauling, hacking, shooting, and other incidents involving private affairs among citizens.

a. To illustrate, one of the cases involve one Espiridian Baynos Tabunal. This case relates to a “love triangle” wherein the suspect was the live-in partner who got jealous of the deceased-victim.

b. On the other hand, the death of a certain Ireneo Papillera was caused by a misunderstanding over a videoke song.

c. Equally noteworthy is the case of Edgar Roperos, who was killed merely because he disturbed the suspect in his sleep.

d. Lastly, two minors: Hamudi and Alhudri Anali were killed in a mortal shelling incident.

Printouts of the relevant files of the cases of Espiridian Baynos Tabunal, Ireneo Papillera, Edgar Roperos, and the Analis are hereby attached as ANNEXES B, C, D, and E respectively.

7. The sampling inspected by the Petitioners so far consists of one hundred seven (107) CDs/DVDs containing documents from Ilocos Region (Region I), Central Luzon (Region III), Southwestern Tagalog Region (Region IV-B), Bicol (Region V), Central Visayas (Region VII), Eastern Visayas (Region VIII), Zamboanga Peninsula (IX), the National Capital Region (NCR), and Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).

8. The inventory of the “SOLVED/CLEARED” and “UNSOLVED” cases per Region inspected by Petitioners and the details thereon is hereby attached as ANNEX A.

9. What the OSG and PNP virtually want is for the Supreme Court and the Petitioners to utterly waste valuable time and resources examining case files which are totally irrelevant and, in fact, absolutely rubbish insofar as the instant cases are concerned.

10. For the Petitioners to be made to labor through a full examination of the complete files submitted by the OSG and PNP – even after a considerable sampling of the same has yielded the above-discussed results – will virtually allow the OSG and PNP to succeed in their underhanded machinations.

A soft copy of the motion is attached for reference

(Disclosure: CenterLaw President Joel Butuyan is a trustee of VERA Files.)


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Founded in March 2008, VERA Files is published by veteran Filipino journalists taking a deeper look into current Philippine issues. Vera is Latin for “true.”

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