Supreme Court to SolGen: 'Ridiculous' to claim drug docs involve nat'l security

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, April 17) — The country's top judges are not buying the Office of the Solicitor General's (OSG) claim that releasing documents pertaining to the war on drugs involve "national security matters," adding such an issue was "simply ridiculous."

In a resolution Thursday, the Supreme Court (SC) said the information and documents they are requesting for are related to the drug war, and obviously do not affect state secrets.

The resolution went on to say there is no proof that the country's territorial integrity, national sovereignty, independence, or foreign relations will be compromised by the release of the documents.

Solicitor General Jose Calida will now have to give petitioners the entire set of documents.

On April 2, the SC ordered the OSG to provide copies of all police reports on the government's controversial anti-drug war to the petitioners in a case questioning the legality of Oplan Double Barrel, also known as Oplan Tokhang.

An earlier request by the SC was denied by the OSG, citing issues of national security.

Wednesday's Supreme Court resolution also called out the OSG for unilaterally classifying drug war documents into two categories without the court's consent.

The SC added the decision on whether evidence is relevant rests largely upon the discretion of the court.

The court also pointed out the fact that ordinary citizens have been - and continue to be - killed during police drug operations, making it a matter of "grave public concern."

Meanwhile, former national police chief Ronald "Bato" dela Rosa said he had no problem turning over the documents, but said this might open up policemen to harassment.