MANILA - Philippine National Police chief Ronald "Bato" Dela Rosa on Tuesday declined to comment on the Senate testimony of retired policeman Arturo Lascañas, who claimed that the country's top cop was aware of the operations of an alleged death squad under President Duterte.
"Ipauubaya muna natin sa Senado. Kung ipapatawag ako doon, mahirap naman ma-preempt ang imbestigasyon ng Senado. No comment muna ako d'yan," he said during a chance interview.
(Let's allow the Senate to finish the investigation first. If I am summoned there, it will be difficult if I've already preempted the probe. I have no comment for now.)
Lascañas testified Monday that Dela Rosa, during his tenure as intelligence chief of the Region 11 police, knew that his fellow policemen did not look into the death of a Taiwanese national allegedly at the hands of DDS.
After he was appointed as Davao City police chief, Dela Rosa also allegedly received orders from Duterte to execute 2 companions of a suspected criminal but he spared them, according to Lascañas.
Senator Panfilo Lacson, who led the investigation as chairman of the Senate public order committee, has terminated the probe into DDS due to Lascañas' failure to produce independent evidence.
Duterte, for his part, has denied ordering summary executions, either as president or during his 22 years as Davao mayor. Dela Rosa also previously called the death squad "fiction" created by the media.
-- Report from Henry Atuelan, DZMM