MANILA - The heads of the Public Attorney's Office (PAO) and Philippine National Police struggled to hold back their emotions Tuesday while denying an alleged "pattern" of killing in law enforcement operations.
Shedding tears and raising his voice, PNP chief General Bato Dela Rosa maintained that his men do not have a policy to execute suspected criminals.
"Masakit 'yung magpapakamatay kami para sa inosenteng tao tapos sasabihin ninyo may polisiya kami sa pagpatay," Dela Rosa told a Senate inquiry into recent controversial deaths during police operations.
"I am with you in that quest for justice (for extra judicial killings), but sana 'yung hustisya din para sa mga pulis ko."
Dela Rosa's emotional outburst came after Senator Risa Hontiveros noted there seems to be a system to the killings in the country.
"May polisiya na nagdidikta sa kultura ng patayan na nangyayari sa ating bayan. There's a system to the killings. There's a method to the madness," Hontiveros said.
The senator later clarified she was alluding to President Rodrigo Duterte's call for a bloody campaign against drug pushers, and not on Dela Rosa's performance as police chief.
PAO CHIEF NEAR TEARS
Afterwards, a visibly distressed PAO cheif Atty. Rueda-Acosta denied noting a "pattern" in the alleged shootouts that killed 2 teenage boys.
"Wala pong pronouncement ang PAO na may pattern dito... Ako po mismo ang makakapagpatotoo na wala pong utos ang mga pulis na pumatay nang walang kaawa-awa," Acosta said, her voice cracking.
"Kaya po iyung mga kliyente namin, 18,000 plus nakakulong, buhay, hinuli ng mga kapulisan natin. Kasi kawawa naman ang mga pulis natin na handang ibuwis ang kanilang buhay para sa ating inang bayan -- nalalahat na sila."
Acosta, in a DZMM interview Monday, used the term "pattern" when she noted similarities in the deaths of 17-year-old Kian Delos Santos and 19-year-old Carl Angelo Arnaiz, who were both killed by Caloocan cops after allegedly resisting arrest last August.
Acosta had then noted PAO autopsy findings that both boys were repeatedly shot while already kneeling or sprawled on the ground.
"Ang punto dito, buhay ito e. Bakit ganito ang pattern, parang may pagkakahalintulad ito kay Kian. Magkasunod po halos ito. Oras lang din ang pagitan niyan kung bibilangan ang 2 iyan," she said.
The PAO chief however told senators that she was merely pointing similarities between the 2 boys. Both teenagers, she said, had helped in their family's small stores, had a parent working abroad and was not on the drug watch list of their barangays.