We're not afraid, mapapahiya sila, says Duterte running mate Cayetano
MANILA - Senator Leila de Lima on Thursday said the Senate Justice Committee will proceed with its inquiry into drug-related killings on August 22 and 23 after holding an initial meeting with committee members.
De Lima said the inquiry will tackle all drug-related killings, including those involving vigilante groups and policemen conducting anti-drug operations.
De Lima said Sen. Richard Gordon told her to be cautious in the handling of the investigation given the weight of the issue at hand.
"I appreciate their inputs," said De Lima.
However, Senator Ping Lacson, a member of the Justice Committee and Chair of the Public Order and Illegal Drugs Committee which will be the secondary committee in the legislative inquiry, said he has misgivings on the inclusion in the probe of killings made during police operations.
"I'm attending only on summary killings perpetrated by the non-police," said Lacson.
Senator Alan Peter Cayetano, who is not a member of the committee but attended the meeting, questioned the timing of the inquiry.
He noted the supposed gains being made by the police in their anti-illegal drugs drive heavily backed by President Rodrigo Duterte.
Cayetano added, there are more important tasks and bills the Senate should focus on.
"We are not afraid of the investigation, kasi mapapahiya sila," said Cayetano.
Sen. Risa Hontiveros, however, said the issue of drug-related killings needs Senate attention, noting the increasing number of deaths.
"May urgency talaga ito," said Hontiveros.
Data gathered by the ABS-CBN Investigative and Research Group showed there have been 943 drug-related fatalities from May 10 to August 10.
Of the total number, 567 were killed in police operations while 294 were killed by unidentified assailants; 82 were suspected victims of summary executions.