Press Release
June 2, 2021

Drilon: Supreme Court has ruled that drug war records do not have national security implications

Senate Minority Leader Franklin M. Drilon said that the records of the bloody anti-drug war campaign do not have national security implications and that the Philippine National Police must follow the Supreme Court ruling in Almora et al. and Dano et al. v. the PNP in 2018.

"In the words of the Supreme Court, drug war records 'do not obviously involve state secrets affecting national security' for the information and documents relate to routine police operations involving violations of laws against the sale or use of illegal drugs," Drilon said in a statement on Wednesday.

"That is, plain and simple, a police blotter. Ito po ay public record at may karapatan ang taumbayan na malaman ang katotohanan," he added.

"I do not think that by any stretch of imagination police records would involve national security," he stressed.

Drilon said the PNP must follow the rule of law.

"Th PNP is walking on a thin line between following the high court's order or keeping the records under wraps. But they must abide by the court ruling," Drilon said.

"Wala naman po tayong tinatago, hindi po ba?" he asked.

In 2018, the Supreme Court, in two cases against the Philippine National Police represented by then former PNP Director General and now Senator Ronald Dela Rosa (G.R. No. 234359 and G.R. No. 234484), denied the Office of Solicitor General's defense that drug war records could implicate national security in a bid to stop the sharing of the police records.

The former justice secretary said that in accordance with the Supreme Court decision, drug war records "do not involve rebellion, invasion, terrorism, espionage, infringement of our sovereignty or sovereign rights by foreign powers, or any military, diplomatic or state secret involving national security."

"To claim that it involves national security is unfounded. By any stretch of imagination, I could not think how would a single poorest of the poor Filipino, who was killed in an anti-narcotic operation, have planned to overthrow the government?" Drilon said.

The government's anti-drug war campaign has left thousands of alleged drug users dead during police operations, children orphaned and wives widowed in the past five years, he noted.

"How the likes of Kian delos Santos and many young victims of the anti-drug campaign could have threatened our national security?" he added.

Drilon said that during his stint at the justice department, he had never seen police records that have national security implications.

"What we want to find out is what, where, when, and under what circumstances these thousands of people were killed. The police records will reveal only that information," he added.

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