SC grants protection of petitioners vs 'tokhang'

THE Supreme Court granted Tuesday the petition of the families of four Oplan Tokhang victims who sought a temporary protection order against the Philippine National Police (PNP) unit in Payatas, Quezon City.

Those covered by the order are petitioners Efren Morillo, Martino Morillo, Victoria Morillo, Ma. Belen Daa, Marla Daa, Maribeth Batolay, Lydia Gabi, Jennifer Nicolas and Marilyn Malimban, said SC Public Information Office Director Gleoresty Guerra in a press conference.

Respondents in the case are the PNP represented by Director General Ronald Dela Rosa, Senior Superintendent Guillermo Lorenzo Eleazar, Quezon City Police District (QCPD) Station 6 commander Superintendent Lito Patay, Senior Inspector Emil Garcia, Police Officer 3 (PO3) Allan Formilleza, PO1 James Aggaro and PO1 Melchor Navigasa.

The SC also issued a temporary protection order prohibiting the respondents and any of their agents from entering within a radius of one kilometer from the residence and work addresses of the petitioners.

The High Court directed the Court of Appeals to immediately conduct a hearing on the petition and decide on the case within 10 days after its submission for decision.

The SC, however, did not act on the petition to temporarily halt PNP's Oplan Tokhang Operations in Barangay Payatas and in all areas under the jurisdiction of the QCPD Station 6 while the case is being heard.

The petition was filed by the Center for International Law (Centerlaw) on behalf of the victims who allegedly experienced continued harassment from cops conducting Oplan Tokhang.

The petition was filed following the death of their relatives Marcelo Daa Jr., Raffy Gabo, Anthony Comendo, and Jessie Cule in the hands of policemen conducting anti-drug operation.

Another victim Efren Morillo, who survived the crime, is the primary witness in the murder and frustrated murder case filed against the respondent QCPD policemen. (SunStar Philippines)

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