PNP won't submit police spot reports without Duterte nod
MANILA, Philippines – Amid senators’ prodding, Philippine National Police Director General Ronald Dela Rosa stood firm that he would not submit police spot reports to the Senate without the approval of President Rodrigo Duterte.
Senate President Pro-Tempore Franklin Drilon on Thursday, September 15, pressed Dela Rosa to submit spot reports of killings that occurred starting July 1, 2016. This is to help the Senate in its probe into alleged extrajudicial killings under the government's campaign against illegal drugs.
The police spot reports were submitted to the Senate committee on justice and human rights, but were eventually pulled out.
Dela Rosa said these are now with the President, as he supposedly wants to read the reports first.
“Your honor, the spot reports are with the President. According to him, he's going to read them and he will give it back to us and we give it to you,” Dela Rosa told Drilon during the 3rd hearing on the extrajudicial killings.
But Drilon was not satisfied with the answer and continued to ask for the status of the reports.
“Lahat ng spot reports binabasa ng Presidente?” Drilon asked. (Does the President read all spot reports?)
“Yes, your honor, dahil sabi nya ibigay ko raw sa kanya,” Dela Rosa replied. (Yes, your honor, because he said that I should give it to him.)
Who to follow – Drilon or Duterte?
Amid Drilon’s continuous questioning, an apparently irked Dela Rosa said: “Your honor, I would like to put it on record na wala po kaming tinatago. Gustong gusto ko sana ibigay na yun pero kinuha ng Presidente, your honor. Kaya sino susundin ko, ikaw o presidente? The President ordered me to submit it to him.”
(Your honor, I would like to put it on record that we are not hiding anything. I would have wanted to give it to you but the President got it, your honor. Who should I follow, you or the President? The President ordered me to submit it to him.)
De Lima then interjected and advised Dela Rosa to stop those “antics” as it is disrespectful to a senator.
“May we remind General Dela Rosa not to use this forum for antics. It’s insulting to a member of the Senate,” De Lima said.
Drilon maintained that the submission of spot reports is a crucial part of evidence.
“This spot report is very important because this is the best evidence as to the what happened at least in the initial investigation. It is almost simultaneous investigation that is why it has high degree of credibility para makita naman natin paano reaction ng mga presinto dito sa nangyayaring namamatay (so we could check how the precints reacted on the increasing number of deaths),” Drilon said.
Drilon then told the PNP chief to not treat his orders personally, as it is the committee that has responsibility over the matter, not him.
“General Dela Rosa, I was asking that as a member of the committee. 'Di po personal. Wala po ako personal dito. Tayo po ay naghahanap ng katotohanan,” he said.
Spot reports excluded from FOI EO?
Citing Duterte’s Freedom of Information executive order, Drilon asked if such police reports are exempted from FOI coverage.
“Would spot reports be excluded from the coverage under the President's Freedom of Information EO?” Drilon asked, with Dela Rosa replying they are not.
Senator Panfilo Lacson, a former PNP chief, told Dela Rosa that the computerization of records should make it easy for the PNP to submit reports to the committee. “Ang alam ko in this day and age of technology, computerized na tayo lahat ha. So kaya siguro this afternoon. Noong araw noong panahon namin ang matagal kasi typewriter pa tapos radio pa na sira,” Lacson said.
(I know in this day and age of technology, everything is computerized. So you could submit it this afternoon. During our time it was harder because we had to use typwriter plus defective radios.)
Dela Rosa said they would do their best to submit the reports as soon as possible, but he maintained they would have to get the President’s clearance first. – Rappler.com