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Bato willing to inhibit self from Senate probes into war on drugs

Senator-elect Ronald "Bato" Dela Rosa on Sunday said he is willing to inhibit himself from investigations on the bloody war on drugs implemented during his term as Philippine National Police chief should he eventually take the helm of the Senate Committee on Public Order and Dangerous Drugs.

"Tignan natin paano mag-inhibit. Just in case na mag-inhibit ako, meron namang vice chairman na magpapatakbo sa hearing na yan," Dela Rosa told Super Radyo dzBB.

Senator Panfilo Lacson earlier said he is willing to give the Committee on Public Order and Dangerous Drugs to Dela Rosa who, like him, is a former Philippine National Police chief.

But the same panel, along with the Senate Committee on Justice and Human Rights, was the one which investigated alleged extrajudicial killings under the heightened drive against criminality and illegal drugs.

Dela Rosa said that should he handle the Senate public order panel and another probe on cases involving deaths in the war on drugs is called, he would have to do what he should do as a senator.

"Ilagay ko sarili ko sa tamang lugar. Nung panahon na yun, ako ang chief PNP, I have to defend what we did," he said.

"Ngayong ako ang mag-iimbestiga, dapat gawin ko ang papel ko, na lalabas na ito na credible at tama yung outcome ng investigation. Ganun lang yun. Senador na ako e, so dapat magpaka-senador na ako ngayon," he added.

Dela Rosa, nevertheless, said he would push for the passage of drug penalty for drug trafficking as senator.

"Priority ko, i-follow up ko yung death penalty sa drug trafficking. 'Yan ang aking naging battle cry nung campaign period. Nagustuhan siguro ng taumbayan dahil pinanalo naman nila ako," he said.

Government data shows that the war on drugs has led to the deaths of 5,000 drug suspects since President Rodrigo Duterte assumed office in June 2016.  —Erwin Colcol/LBG, GMA News