President Duterte’s war against drugs recently scored a victory when the Supreme Court (SC) dismissed a petition seeking an end to extrajudicial killings.
The SC dismissed for lack of merit the petition for mandamus filed in July by lawyers Ricardo Valmonte and Ramon Matignas Jr. against the National Police Commission (Napolcom) and the Philippine National Police (PNP).
The petitioners asked the high court to order the PNP to report the killings to Napolcom, which would investigate police officers involved in the killings.
The lawyers cited the growing number of drug-related killings since Duterte assumed the presidency on June 30.
They said one newspaper reported that on the first week alone of Duterte’s government, the death toll in the anti-war drug war hit 72.
Valmonte and Matignas said the PNP failed to report the killings of suspected criminals to Napolcom for investigation and for appropriate action.
They said Napolcom failed to investigate the alleged extrajudicial killings.
After the SC dismissed their petition, Valmonte and Matignas filed a motion on Oct. 3, saying the killings continue.
Anti- drug war hailed
Meanwhile, a former officer of the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) has expressed support for the anti-drug campaign of Duterte and Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada.
Retired LAPD officer Scott Gilliam, who is in town to train members of the Manila Police District (MPD) on drug abuse resistance education (DARE) program, said Duterte’s and Estrada’s efforts to rid the country of drugs is commendable.
“Sometimes drastic measures have to be taken to address drastic situations, or when things get beyond the point,” Gilliam said when asked to comment on the government’s anti-drug drive.
Estrada welcomed Gilliam, director for training of DARE America, and his colleague Jeffrey Smith at the city hall on Friday.
Gilliam was one of the founders of DARE in California in 1983 while he was an officer of the LAPD.
Launched in 1983, DARE is a comprehensive education program taught in thousands of schools in the US and 52 other countries, including the Philippines.
It was Estrada who introduced DARE to the country in 1993 when he was vice president and head of the Presidential Anti-Crime Commission. He is the chairman of DARE Philippines.
The mayor thanked DARE America for supporting the city government’s anti-drug efforts, saying it is a fight for survival.
Estrada is hoping to have more DARE instructors, saying the MPD has only 14 such officers.