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TRO vs house-to-house drug tests sought

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by Jeffrey Damicog

A lawyers group is set to seek a temporary restraining order (TRO) to stop the alleged illegal house-to-house and roving drug testing being conducted by Philippine National Police (PNP) in poor communities in Metro Manila.

 The National Union of People’s Lawyers (NUPL) announced that it will file a petition for prohibition and injunction this week before the Quezon City court.

 “The NUPL asserts that this repressive PNP operation violates basic constitutional rights of persons and is contrary to law,” it said in a statement.

“They will seek a temporary restraining order with the proper courts after receiving various reports that the illegal operations continue or are poised to continue in various parts of the metropolis.

The NUPL made the move in response to the recent door-to-door on-the-spot drug testing conducted by the PNP in Barangay Payatas, one of the poorest neighborhoods in Quezon City.

 NUPL president Edre Olalia has called the activity conducted by police as “anti-poor and discriminatory.”

 “It is presumably illegal and unconstitutional on its face especially when it is blanket, involuntarily and arbitrary,” Olalia said in a statement.

 “It violates the right to privacy and against self-incrimination and basic human dignity,” he added.

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