MANILA – The National Police chief on Tuesday told senators probing the killings of two teenagers by Caloocan cops that he needed to get the permission of the President before submitting spot reports on deaths in PNP operations since Rodrigo Duterte took power.
Gen. Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa was responding to Senator Franklin Drilon’s reiteration of his previous request to the PNP to submit to the Senate all police spot reports on deaths arising from police operations since July 1, 2016.
When the investigating committee’s chairman, Sen. Panfilo Lacson, asked Dela Rosa for Duterte’s reason for requiring him to seek “clearance” from the Palace in releasing the spot reports, the PNP chief said he did not know, and would have to ask his boss why.
At the resumption of the Senate investigation on the killing by Caloocan cops of teenagers Kian Delos Santos and Carl Angelo Arnaiz, Drilon reminded the PNP chief that the chamber never received the police spot reports – as repeatedly promised – since they first requested for these last September 2016, in an earlier hearing on extra-judicial killings.
“Can we reiterate that request that all these spot report for all these killings should be submitted as part of this proceedings?” Drilon said.
The documents in question were initially submitted to the Senate Committee on Justice and Human Rights, but were later pulled out by the PNP.
Dela Rosa explained at Tuesday’s Senate hearing that he needed to get the permission of Duterte before submitting the said documents.
When Drilon asked for the police reports once again, Dela Rosa said they were ready to submit a total of 146 cases to the Senate.
The PNP chief, however, added they would need time to recover the remaining spot reports.
Pressed by Drilon – who deplored that there were too many different numbers on killings floating around – Dela Rosa also disclosed that from their record, 2,216 deaths occurred during police operations since July 1, 2016.
Senator Lacson, chairman of the Senate Committee on Public Order and Dangerous Drugs which is leading the inquiry, interjected, “What could be the explanation for the President to stop the submission of police records? These are official records.”
Dela Rosa said, “He just told me, your honor: ‘you may submit that if you have clearance from me.'”
Lacson pressed on, “But why?
Dela Rosa replied, “I will ask him (the President) again, your honor.”
Drilon also pressed Dela Rosa if the PNP has a command plan to combat extra-judicial killings in the country.
Dela Rosa said there was none, but added that the police rely on the guidelines or manual set by the PNP when conducting police operations.