MANILA (Mabuhay) – Next week’s Senate investigation on the Duterte administration’s war on drugs can serve as platform to dispel insinuations that policemen are involved in extrajudicial killings of drug suspects, a Palace official said Wednesday.
At a media forum, presidential communications secretary Martin Andanar said Malacañang’s guidance to the Philippine National Police officials was to “show up and explain to the senators” that the police have nothing to do with the execution-style killings of street-level drug pushers.
“Ang guidance lang ay just go there and show up. Show up and explain to the senators. Show them empirical evidence na wala tayong ginagawang extrajudicial killings sa hanay ng kapulisan at kung meron mang extrajudicial killings ay hindi po ito state policy. Ito po ay kagagawan ng mga kriminal,” he said.
The Senate committee on justice and human rights, chaired by Senator Leila de Lima, will conduct its probe on August 22 and 23.
PNP chief Director General Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa had already confirmed his attendance to the probe despite an earlier statement from Solicitor General Jose Calida denouncing the investigation as a tool for media mileage for De Lima, a staunch Duterte critic.
On Tuesday, Dela Rosa said he is ready to “bare all” and face tough grilling by senators.
“Hindi naman kami kailangang sindakin para lumabas yung katotohanan. Honorable naman ang mga senador natin, hindi naman yan mambabastos sa amin siguro. In every action, there is a corresponding reaction. Pag binabastos ka, we may probably lose our cool pero kung friendly naman sila, hindi gaanong hostile e what’s the reason for us to lose our cool,” he said.
Dela Rosa also assured the public that the PNP will not lose its momentum in the fight against illegal drugs in light of the legislative probe.
A total of 513 drug suspects have been killed while 7,325 others have been arrested since the Duterte administration’s anti-drug campaign started on July 1, PNP records show.
More than 540,000 drug suspects, meanwhile, have turned themselves in from July 1 to 12 noon of August 9.(MNS)