The National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers (NUPL) said that the Quezon City Police District (QCPD) chief PSupt. Guillermo Lorenzo Eleazar admitted in court that police from QCPD Police Station 6 “were overzealous and conducted house-to-house drug tests in communities including Barangay Payatas.”
The hearing on the petition for prohibition and injunction filed on August 30 by the NUPL with the Quezon City Regional Trial Court was held today. NUPL also asked the court for a temporary restraining order (TRO) to immediately halt the house-to-house drug tests.
At the end of August, urban poor communities were subjected or are about to be subjected to random, involuntary house-to-house “survey” and instant drug testing reportedly in line with the government’s anti-illegal drug campaign. Clients of NUPL who complained of being subjected to these came from Payatas and Scout Tuazon in Quezon City, while there were reports of the same taking place in Bagong Silangan and other barangays but still needed verification.
NUPL said that “the district chief and station chiefs of Police Station 6 and 10 were forced to defend and distance themselves from house to house surveys and drug tests in the communities, recognizing the serious right violations and their lack of authority.”
The judge saw no need to issue a TRO with the police compelled to desist enforcement of house-to-house drug tests. This means the QCPD shall no longer hold random, involuntary house-to-house drug tests from this day. But the judge shall proceed to hear merits of the case filed by NUPL to determine whether to order to stop altogether such random, involuntary, house-to-house drug tests.
NUPL saw this as a victory gained from the public protest and legal suit filed by urban poor residents.