Carpio asks: Were there Chinese drug lords killed by the PNP?

By Kristine Joy Patag
The Philippine Star

Senior Associate Justice Antoniol Carpio was the first to interpellate Solicitor General Jose Calida who is defending President Rodrigo Duterte's bloody war on drugs before the high court. AP Photo/Bullet Marquez

Senior Associate Justice Antoniol Carpio was the first to interpellate Solicitor General Jose Calida who is defending President Rodrigo Duterte’s bloody war on drugs before the high court. AP Photo/Bullet Marquez

MANILA, Philippines — Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio asked Solicitor General Jose Calida on the number of Chinese or Filipino-Chinese drug lords killed by the PNP since the start of the drug war.

The Supreme Court on Tuesday resumed its hearing via oral arguments on the consolidated petitions challenging the constitutionality of President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs.

Carpio was the first to interpellate Calida who is representing government officials who were respondents in the petitions.

Carpio highlighted Section 3 of the PNP memorandum circular on Oplan Double Barrel that explicitly states that there are three transnational drug organizations operating in the Philippines.

“Chinese or Filipino-Chinese drug syndicates dominate the drug market in the country,” the PNP memorandum stated. It added that these Chinese syndicates “facilitate production, manufacturing and bulk smuggling of dangerous drugs in the country.”

Carpio asked Calida: “How many Chinese or Filipino-Chinese drug lords have been neutralized by the PNP since July 1, 2016?”

Calida replied: “Based on statistics, there were 418 Chinese who were arrested.”

The government’s chief counsel stressed that they were “not killed, but arrested.”

Calida added that they still could not determine what the exact role of the more than 400 Chinese arrested by the police was—whether they were users, peddlers or manufacturers.

The senior justice further grilled Calida: “Can you explain why PNP, in this circular, is concentrating on street-level operations and is practically ignoring the big time drug lords?”

Carpio stressed: “How come the flagship project of the president is concentrated in going after small-time peddlers? Why not big-time drug lords?”

The second group of petitioners, represented by the Center for International Law, are kin of the victims of the drug war in San Andres Bukid, Manila. They claim that there is “systematic violence perpetrated by or wrought in conspiracy with the respondents through the members of the Manila Police District Station 6” in the San Andres Bukid district of Manila.

But Calida said Duterte’s instruction was to go after all drug users, sellers and manufacturers. He added: “The big-time Chinese drug lords are outside our jurisdiction. They are in China.”

Carpio then asked Calida to include data on the more than 3,800 killed in the drug operations of the police in his memorandum.

The justice wants the following information:

gender, ages of the killed
place and time of operations
name of police leader and members who participated
pre-operations plan
post-operation report
whether search warrants or arrest warrants were issued
names of the representatives issued

“You must know them because you are investigating them,” Carpio pointed out.

This is the first time that Duterte’s bloody drug war was brought to the high court.


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