SC orders oral arguments on drug war, EJKs

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The Supreme Court decision comes after two separate lawyer groups filed different petitions to address the anti-drug campaign of the Philippine National Police (PNP). (FILE PHOTO)

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, November 7) — The Supreme Court (SC) set oral arguments on cases against the war on drugs and extrajudicial killings.

"(The Supreme Court) directed the parties in these consolidated cases to comment on the prayers for interim reliefs, and the prayers for the writ of amparo within a non-extendable period of 10 days, from receipt of the order, and to present oral arguments before the court en banc on Nov. 21," SC Spokesperson Theodore Te said in a press briefing Tuesday.

Two separate lawyer groups filed petitions to address the anti-drug campaign of the Philippine National Police (PNP).

On October 18, lawyers of the Center for International Law-Philippines sought for a writ of amparo to protect certain individuals and residents of Barangay San Andres Bukid in Manila after reports of harassment from police officials.

In the 57-page petition by Sr. Maria Juanita Daño and others, police reportedly cordoned off areas they inspected, disabled security cameras, gunned down victims inside their homes, and directed the delivery of bodies to funeral parlors authorized by the police.

On October 11, the Free Legal Assistance Group (FLAG)  filed a separate petition to stop the anti-drug campaign.

FLAG said the police's "Project Double Barrel" campaign is unconstitutional, even as the drug war allows the PNP to kill suspects in the guise of "neutralizing" or "negating" them.

According to the PNP's latest data, there were 77,468 anti-drug operations conducted from July 1, 2016 to October 25, 2017.

Less than 4,000 suspects, or 3,967 people were killed and 117,044 others arrested.

The anti-drug campaign also left 86 law enforcers dead and 225 others injured.

Local and international human rights groups, however, pegged the number of drug-related killings at around 13,000.