The Senate’s first round of public hearings on the extrajudicial killings and summary executions was highlighted by the allegations of abuses and brutality of the police. However, the Philippine National Police (PNP) has promised that the campaign won’t be stopped.

“Lalaban pa ri kami. We will continue! Tuloy pa rin!” said PNP Chief Director General Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa.

Dela Rosa attended the hearing as a resource person at the Senate Committee on Justice and Human Right’s probe into the purported extrajudicial killings, led by Senator De Lima.

“Our Internal Affairs Services (PNP-IAS) is not slowing down in finding evidence to ensure these erring policemen are indicted… We will go after them,” Dela Rosa added.

“Lalaban pa rin kami” –Dela Rosa
Photo by Jansen Romero/Manila Bulletin
During the first day of hearing, senators already clashed. Those who were supportive of the anti-drug campaign by Presiden Duterte didn’t fail to express their disapproval of De Lima’s move to look into and disrupt the ongoing crackdown on illegal drugs.

Despite this, De Lima insisted that the senate probe needs legislation in order to address the spate of summary executions of alleged drug suspects.

The senator was supposed to present 12 witnesses but only managed to present two. “It’s very important to know: who are the victims? Who are the killers? Where are all these happening? Are there investigations or cases filed after these incidents? What are the agencies conducting the probe? Where is this campaign leading to?” De Lima said.

She also added that she believes strongly that extrajudicial killings, regardless of whose order, must stop, and that the disregard of human life must end as well.

“Let this be clear: The Senate is not a court of law or a quasi-judicial body… Our focus here is on the crimina acts to be addressed, not on prosecution of allaged perpetrators.”

On the other hand, Dela Rosa relieved the policemen who were involved in the alleged killing of parents of one of the witnesses. 

“I will relieve those people and put them under administrative holding unit and will order the IAS to confuct and investigation on them,” Dela Rosa said. “If it would be proven that all policemen in Antipolo are involved, I will remove everyone, even the police ocmmander.”

It was revealed that some Antipolo police were involved after the second witness, identified only as “Mary Rose”, went to the Commission of Human Rights (CHR) after her father and mother were both killed in an “encounter” with policemen.

Her parents were found in two separate locations, disclosed to her also by a police named “Gamad”.

Dela Rosa expressed that he is not at all surprised to hear about the involvement of some policemen in the illegal drug trade. According to him, he is even grateful of Mary Grace’s testimony. ASCS

Source: Manila Bulletin

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