- Exasperated PNP chief said De Lima should’ve deployed SAF in Bilibid during her time
- De Lima replied she thought about it but was harangued by procedural roadblocks
- She commended Dela Rosa for cutting off drug lords’ transactions in Bilibid though
MANILA, Philippines – An apparently bewildered PNP chief Director General Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa could not hide his exasperation as he told Sen. Leila de Lima how she could’ve deployed the PNP’s Special Action Force (SAF) in Bilibid to stifle illegal activities there a long time ago when she was still Department of Justice (DOJ) Secretary.
“Sana po ‘nung panahon mo pa dineploy ‘yung SAF ‘dun, how I wish ‘yung SAF kinuha mo na ‘nun at pinagwardiyahan ‘ung Bilibid,” he told her during the second day of the Senate hearing on the spate of drug-related killings.
[I had hoped you would’ve deployed the SAF there during your time, how I wish you would’ve gotten the SAF to guard Bilibid.]
In response, De Lima said she thought about it but was dissuaded by procedural roadblocks after she consulted lawyers from her staff and the DOJ.
“May I tell you that naisip na rin po namin ‘yun kaya meron po kaming mga, you know, when I consulted some lawyers within my staff, within the DOJ, kailangan pa daw ng kung anong mga ano pang pwedeng gawin, you know, to be really strictly above board, pero naisip din po namin ‘yan,” she said.
[May I tell you that we thought about it but we had…you know, when I consulted some lawyers within my staff, within the DOJ, there were several things we had to do, you know to be really strictly above board, but we thought about it.]
At the same time, De Lima commended Dela Rosa for effectively cutting off the communications of drug lords detained in Bilibid from the outside world.
“So may I commend you na if you are telling us na totally na free na of cellphones and other communication gadgets ang NBP, wala na ho tayong maririnig na mga ganyan na [we won’t hear anyomore about those kinds of] transactions,” Rappler quoted her as telling Dela Rosa.