MANILA, Philippines – Supreme Court Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno asked Philippine National Police Chief General Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa to appear next Tuesday, November 28, in the next round of oral arguments on petitions questioning the police’s war on drugs.
Before the session ended on Tuesday, November 21, Sereno told Solicitor General Jose Calida to bring Dela Rosa and other executives to the Supreme Court when he takes the floor on November 28.
“The court requests you, kindly requests you, directs you, to bring the following with you: PNP General Ronald dela Rosa, DILG officer-in-charge Catalino Cuy, PDEA Head Aaron Aquino, the present officer-in-charge of the Dangerous Drugs Board, the head of the National Police Commission and the head of the Internal Affairs Service (PNP-IAS). Please indulge us on this Solgen,” Sereno said.
In a text message to Rappler, Aquino said: “I was not able to monitor the initial hearing..hope I know their talking points..”
The other officials have not responded to requests for comment as of posting.
Calida didn’t get to take the floor on Tuesday, but he will get his opportunity on November 28.
Petitioners who took the floor were lawyer Joel Butuyan of the Center for International Law and Jose Manuel “Chel” Diokno of the Free Legal Assistance Group (FLAG).
Butuyan said they would make sure that the justices' discussion with Dela Rosa would be done in open court.
Although there's no word yet on what will happen on November 28, petitioners want to avoid a repetition of closed door discussions that happened during oral arguments on martial law with Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana and Military Chief General Eduardo Año.