De Lima seeks SC permission to attend Senate hearing on Kian
MANILA, Philippines – Detained Senator Leila de Lima filed on Tuesday, August 22, an urgent petition asking the Supreme Court (SC) to allow her to attend the Senate hearing on the death of 17-year-old student Kian delos Santos.
The Senate committee on public order and dangerous drugs chaired by Senator Panfilo Lacson will conduct the hearing on Delos Santos' case at 2 pm on Thursday, August 24.
De Lima's camp said they were able to file the petition 8:43 am on Tuesday, hoping it would be included in the SC en banc agenda for the day. The SC en banc only meets every Tuesday, which is why the De Lima camp hopes a decision would be out immediately in time for the hearing on Thursday.
De Lima also asked that she be allowed to attend the next hearings which might be scheduled after Thursday. She invoked her duties as a senator and also said she is not a flight risk.
Challenge for Duterte
In a statement released on Tuesday, De Lima also called on President Rodrigo Duterte "to issue a clear and categorical order to the entire police force" to stop the killings.
"Any other way to try to appease the growing outrage sparked by the Kian killing and other recent incidents of summary execution under the mantle of the 'one-time, big-time' operations would be insufficient as it is hypocritical," the detained senator said.
Thursday's hearing was prompted by a resolution from the Senate majority bloc. The senators allied with Duterte agreed there should be an inquiry into the spate of killings linked to the President's drug war.
Lacson's committee on public order and dangerous drugs was the same committee that heard the testimony of retired Davao policeman Arturo Lascañas, a self-confessed hitman of the Davao Death Squad. But Lacson ended the inquiry after only one hearing, saying Lascañas' recanted statements had no value.
Before that, Senator Richard Gordon's committee on justice and human rights conducted hearings into alleged extrajudicial killings. After 6 hearings, Gordon concluded that neither Duterte nor his state agents were responsible for the summary executions in the drug war. – with reports from Camille Elemia / Rappler.com