As Senator Leila De Lima expressed alarm over daily reports of killings of suspected drug dealers, even users in police operations, Solicitor General Jose Calida said that police officers facing harassment cases in connection to the administration’s war on drugs will expect legal support from his office.
“I am here to encourage the PNP not to be afraid of any Congressional or Senate investigations,” Calida said.
“We will defend them. If there is a fiscalizer, I am the neutralizer and the defender of the PNP.” Calida added via CNN Philippines.
Calida made the statement after meeting with Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Ronald Dela Rosa at Camp Crame saying that he will not allow anyone to obstruct the government’s effort to stop the drug menace in the country.
According to PNP, there were 103 suspects killed and about 5,845 arrested from May 10 to July 3 in anti-illegal drugs operations.
Senator Leila De Lima insisted on holding a Senate inquiry into the spate of killings such as growing number of “summary execution” of criminals as part of President Duterte’s extreme campaign against crimes and illegal drugs despite unenthusiastic response of her colleagues to the idea.
Calida expresses that De Lima has not done enough to stop the drug menace as Justice Secretary in charge of the National Bureau of Investigation, the prosecution service and the correctional institutions, saying that the Senate probe on the killings will not help stop drug trafficking.
“What happened during her tenure?” Calida said.
Answering his own question, he said, “Lalong lumakas ang proliferation of drugs even in her own turf.” (Translation: The proliferation of drugs worsened even in her own turf.)
“This is a serious situation now, hindi papogihan sa (it’s not to look good in the) media,” he said.
“The police are risking their lives. It is the height of naiveté for Secretary De Lima, who apparently does not know the mind of a crazed drug addict.”
Calida insists that there is always a “presumption of regularity” in all of police operations, as De Lima’s call for a hearing is purely based on hearsay.
He also said that illegal drugs proliferated especially in New Bilibid Prison during her term as Justice Secretary, and Calida’s office will consider filing of charges against De Lima in connection to it.