The Supreme Court (SC) has sided with the spouse of a drug war victim in upholding its 2017 decision to issue a writ of amparo as a “protective remedy” after her husband lost his life to the Duterte administration’s war on drugs in 2016.
In a statement released on Tuesday (Aug. 9), the high court said that the SC’s second division has denied the petition for review filed by Antipolo City police officers against an earlier Court of Appeals (CA) ruling issuing a protection order for Christina Gonzales, saying that her husband’s death, a case of “extralegal killing,” is a good enough reason for her to fear for her life.
Christina’s husband, Joselito, was a suspected drug dealer who was one of the first casualties of the drug war after he was killed in a police operation in Antipolo City in June 2016.
“After examining the totality of evidence, the Supreme Court found that threats to the life of Christina were indeed present, and that the CA’s issuance of the writ of amparo was proper,” the SC’s press release stated.
It also noted several lapses on the part of the police forces in conducting the anti-drug operations, such as lack of proper documentation, and their failure to follow directives to reopen investigation into the killings.
The SC also said that whether or not Joselito or Christina are indeed part of the illegal drug trade “is beside the point.”
“As stated earlier, even if the respondent committed a crime, the petitioners, as law enforcement agents, are not at liberty to disregard the respondent’s constitutionally guaranteed rights to life, liberty, and security,” the high court said.
Latest data show that there were at least 6,252 killings during the anti-illegal drug operations, excluding vigilante-style killings which, according to human rights groups, if included, will shoot the numbers up to more or less 30,000 deaths.
Former President Rodrigo Duterte is currently being investigated by the International Criminal Court for possible crimes against humanity, but he reiterated several times that he will not cooperate with the investigation.
Marvin Joseph Ang is a news and creative writer who follows developments on politics, democracy, and popular culture. He advocates for a free press and national democracy. Follow him on Twitter at @marvs30ang for latest news and updates.
Watch more videos on Yahoo: