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Estrada seeks Senate probe into De Lima hostage-taking

Senator Jinggoy Estrada on Thursday called for a Senate investigation into the incident at the Philippine National Police (PNP) Custodial Center wherein former senator Leila de Lima was briefly held hostage.

In filing Resolution 258, Estrada said the Senate has oversight powers in reviewing the security and safety measures inside the national headquarters of the country’s police organization.

“While our police officers demonstrated swift and decisive action during a crisis situation, the incident nonetheless reflects poorly on our police organization’s capacity to perform their mandate of preventing crimes, enforcing laws, maintaining public order, and ensuring public safety,” he said in a press release.

Estrada underscored the need to prevent any untoward and violent incidents within Camp Crame’s premises. He is also concerned over claims that there was maltreatment of detainees inside the PNP Custodial Center.

“The police organization should inspire confidence through the institutionalization of strict security protocols in PNP detention facilities, adequate training and capacity-building of its officers and personnel, and humane treatment of persons under police custody, being respectful of their religious beliefs and cultural practices,” he said.

Meanwhile, Senate Minority Leader Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III and Senator Risa Hontiveros filed a resolution urging the PNP to ensure the safety of De Lima.

In filing Senate Resolution No. 261, the minority senators called on the PNP to take all necessary measures to guarantee De Lima’s safety and to keep the Senate duly informed of their supposed actions.

“It is crucially important to understand how and why a security breach happened and how Sulayao managed to have access to the quarters of former Senator de Lima in light of emerging questions being raised on the background and identities of the hostage takers,” they said.

De Lima was taken hostage inside the detention facility Sunday morning.

The suspects identified as Arnel Cabintoy, Idang Susukan, and Feliciano Sulayao were all neutralized by responding custodial center and PNP Special Action Force personnel.

The PNP has already launched an in-depth investigation into the incident.—Anna Felicia Bajo and Sundy Locus/AOL/RSJ, GMA News