Diokno urges gov’t to release entire list of 'Oplan Tokhang' cases

Published October 21, 2021, 2:56 PM

by Raymund Antonio

Human rights lawyer and senatorial aspirant Jose Manuel ‘Chel’ Diokno wants the Department of Justice (DOJ) to release the entire list of cases related to the government’s war on drugs campaign, or the Oplan Tokhang, that killed tens of thousands of Filipinos.

Human rights lawyer Chel Diokno (MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)

The Justice department has recently released details on 54 cases related to the government’s anti-drug campaign, but the human rights lawyer stressed that this “is not what our people are asking.”

“Nananawagan tayo sa gobyerno na ilabas ang buong listahan para malaman natin ang katotohanan at makita natin ang tunay na larawan ng kampanyang ito na kumitil sa buhay ng libo-libong Pilipino (We are calling on the government to release the entire list so we can know the truth and we will see the true picture of this campaign that killed thousands of Filipinos),” Diokno, who is the founder of the Free Legal Assistance Group (FLAG), said.

FLAG provides free legal assistance to poor and abused Filipinos.

“Epektibong paraan din ito upang mabantayan ng publiko ang takbo ng mga kaso at matiyak na mapaparusahan lahat ng sangkot dito (This is also an effective way for the public to monitor the cases and to make sure that those who are responsible will be punished),” he added.

READ: Diokno says review of only 52 deaths in war on drugs ‘grossly insufficient’

Diokno questioned the fate of the families of the thousands of victims of the government’s bloody anti-drug campaign.

“Wala na bang aasahang hustisya ang mga pamilyang naiwan nila? Mananatili na lang ba itong lihim sa publiko? (Is there going to be no justice anymore for the families of those they left? Are these going to remain a secret from the public?),” he asked.

The lawyer and former dean of the De La Salle University’s College of Law had said that the DOJ must review all the remaining cases, including those barred by President Duterte.

This, he added, is meant not only to fulfill the country’s international commitments but also to give a clear picture of the extent of killings done in the name of the war on drugs.

There have been different figures of the total number of people killed because of the drug war, but official records showed more than 8,000 have been killed.

READ: FLAG seeks review of all cases of deaths in drug war operations, not just a few

Diokno, who is seeking a seat in the Senate after a failed bid in 2019, is running under the slate of Vice President Leni Robredo.

He promised to put “teeth in the country’s laws,” a literal translation of his Filipino slogan, “ngipin ng batas.”

The slogan is designed after Duterte made fun of Diokno’s “big teeth.”