Dela Rosa on his first Supreme Court appearance: ‘Hindi emotional’

Rambo Talabong

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Dela Rosa on his first Supreme Court appearance: ‘Hindi emotional’
'Hindi emotional, wala masyadong emotions dito,' says the PNP chief after the Supreme Court oral arguments on the war on drugs

When Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa emerged from his first session at the Supreme Court (SC) oral arguments on Tuesday, November 27, he was smiling.

Dela Rosa attended Day 2 of the oral arguments on the PNP’s war on drugs. No less than Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno asked him to appear before the High Court.

Asked how the session went, Dela Rosa said it was “less emotional.”

Hindi emotional, wala masyadong emotions dito (It was not emotional, there wasn’t much emotion here), more on pure issues, pure issues,” Dela Rosa said.

It was an apparent comparison to his more emotional appearances in the Senate, where he underwent intense grilling and was moved to tears at least twice. Just like in the SC, Dela Rosa was invited by senators to speak on drug-related cases.

PHOTO OPS. Dela Rosa shares selfies with members of the media after the Supreme Court session. Photo by Rambo Talabong/Rappler

He said the Supreme Court justices were more understanding.

Maganda naman at alam naman ng Supreme Court na hindi ako lawyer so hindi ako ginrill nang husto (It was good that the Supreme Court knows that I am not a lawyer so I was not grilled intensely),” Dela Rosa said.

In the 3-hour-long hearing, Dela Rosa was called only once – by Associate Justice Marvic Leonen, who asked him to explain the meaning of “neutralize”, a word used in various PNP documents pertaining to the drug war. Dela Rosa repeated the definition provided by Associate Justice Carpio: to arrest, to surrender, or to kill.

Dela Rosa declined to comment on the proceedings, saying that he would rather wait for the SC’s decision. 

“It’s too early to tell, to react. We just have to wait for the final decision of the Supreme Court,” Dela Rosa said.

In a press conference on Monday, November 27, Dela Rosa said the PNP stands by the questioned memorandum circular which set the drug war in motion. He said they would change the guidelines only if the SC orders it. –

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Rambo Talabong

Rambo Talabong covers the House of Representatives and local governments for Rappler. Prior to this, he covered security and crime. He was named Jaime V. Ongpin Fellow in 2019 for his reporting on President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs. In 2021, he was selected as a journalism fellow by the Fellowships at Auschwitz for the Study of Professional Ethics.