The Senate public order and dangerous drugs committee will conduct a public hearing on the fatal shooting of four Army intelligence officers by policemen in Jolo, Sulu, last Monday once a resolution is referred to it by late July.
Senator Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa, committee chairman, said the referral might be made by Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri after both the Senate and the House of Representatives have resumed plenary session following a July 27 State of the Nation Address (SONA) by President Duterte.
Dela Rosa, a former Philippine National Police (PNP) chief, explained that his committee could not hold public hearings since the two Legislative chambers are on a sine die adjournment.
Another reason, according to Dela Rosa, is that a Senate public hearing is not conducive and resource speakers, including the nine PNP personnel in Jolo, would not be in a stable frame of mind because the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) is currently probing the incident based on orders from the Executive branch.
He said he would rather allow the NBI to complete its probe before he steps in since the aim of the Senate inquiry is “policy modification… formulation can wait.”
“Pero ang pagdeternine ng culpability sino dapat managot dapat ma-establish ng NBI para makalma ang sitiwasyon (But the determination of culpability should be established by the NBI to calm the situation down),” he added.
As a Philippine Military Academy (PMA) alumnus, Dela Rosa appealed to his fellow PMAers such as the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief of staff General Felimon Santos and the PNP chief Archie Gamboa to make sure that their sub-commanders avoid issuing statements that would escalate the conflict.