Although the official Senate investigation doesn’t start until Monday, 22nd August 2016, the PNP Chief got his first taste of questions from Senators in a legislative hearing.
Senator Leila De Lima who pushed for a Senate inquiry into the illegal drug-related killings defended the Aquino administration, asked Chief PNP Dela Rosa:
“Is that the impression and sentiments of the current dispensation that the previous administration did not do anything and became careless against drug-related incidents?”
Chief PNP answered that (during the previous administration) when a police goes head on with a drug lord who was being protected by a mayor, “it only takes one call to Malacañang to relieve you of your position”, said Dela Rosa.
“This is where I am concerned, one call to the Palace and whoever it is will be cleared of whatever wrong-doings that’s been committed. That was never the encrust of the administration. There are many areas of governance that need to be covered and to address the previous administration that was never totally focused into the problem of drugs. But it doesn’t mean that they (previous administration) became careless.”, said Senator Leila De Lima.
Surrenderees killed inside PNP prison?
Senator Grace Poe questioned the PNP regarding the father & son drug suspects who surrendered yet were killed inside a police prison. And the difference between the PNP’s treatment on Albuera Leyte’s Mayor, Rolando Espinosa Sr., whose being associated with illegal drugs trade in Eastern Visayas.
“There were doubts into the minds of our countrymen and its very frightening because when you surrender to a police, they might kill us too. Meanwhile, a Mayor whom the police recovered drugs in his own home , is now back in office.”, said Senator Grace Poe.
Stats from the PNP
According to the Philippine National Police, there were already 655 killed in legitimate operations, while 899 were killed by summary execution or extrajudicial killings. The PNP are still investigating whether the 899 personalities were killed by vigilante groups or an internal purging between the drug groups themselves.
Out of the 899 that were killed, suspects in more than 20 cases had been identified. And they have already filed cases against them.
This is just the start
“There were no killings of this magnitude before, there were no naming & shaming of the previous administration, that could be the big difference. But my next question is, you don’t have to answer it now – its just a food for thought, is that approach or strategy correct? The so-called violent war.”, asked De Lima.
Senator De Lima followed up with a question:
“Were you able to receive the notice? Will you attend?”
The Chief PNP answered truthfully, “Yes, I will attend”.