Senate summons Gen. Bato to hearing over extrajudicial killings

PNP chief summoned by Senate to attend inquiry on extrajudicial killings
De Lima to grill Dela Rosa, Lacson to focus on killings perpetrated by police
Dela Rosa undaunted, said he will face the probe

Amid President Rodrigo Duterte’s ongoing war on drugs, the Senate invited Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa to its inquiry on the increasing incidence of alleged extrajudicial killings.

Sen. Leila De Lima, the chair of the Senate committee on justice and human rights and lead griller, said they want Dela Rosa to reveal what he knows about the spate of killings. She said incidents of summary executions committed by both police officers and vigilantes would be investigated.

“We will accord them due respect,” she told the Philippine Daily Inquirer. “We have to determine the facts. We have to know the truth. We have to find out exactly why this is happening, find out how many have been killed in the course of this intensified drive against drugs.”

De Lima added the information they get from Dela Rosa will be helpful in making a law governing the conduct of police during anti-drug operations.

Sen. Panfilo “Ping” Lacson, public order and dangerous drugs chair, on the other hand, said he would rather focus on the killings perpetrated by vigilantes even as he promised to attend the hearings.

“I am attending the hearings if only to focus on the summary killings perpetrated by nonpolice personnel. But I have misgivings about indicting the police organization, that they are involved in summary killings. But let’s find out, let’s see how things develop during the hearing,” the former police chief said.

For his part, an undaunted Dela Rosa said he would answer the summons of the Senate.

“Yes, we will face it,” he said. “It’s part of our job, if we will be required to attend.”
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