Upcoming Senate panel hearing to focus on bill creating presidential drug agency — Sotto
MANILA, Philippines — The scheduled Senate committee on public order and dangerous drugs hearing on Tuesday, March 2, will focus on the proposed measure seeking to create the Presidential Drug Enforcement Authority (PRDEA), said Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto III on Saturday.
This, after Palace spokesman Harry Roque said President Rodrigo Duterte will ask Congress to delay its investigation on the matter to give way for the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to look into the shootout between elements of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) in Quezon City.
Sotto clarified that the scheduled hearing will not probe the fatal “misencounter.”
“Hindi naman directly [na] investigation yung sa amin eh (Ours is not a direct investigation),” Sotto said in an interview over radio station DWIZ.
Sotto added that he had asked Sen. Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa, who chairs the Senate dangerous drugs committee, to call for a hearing so he could explain his proposed Senate Bill No. 3 to the PDEA and the PNP
Creation of the PRDEA
Senate Bill No. 3, which Sotto filed in July 2019, seeks the creation of the PRDEA that will primarily be the supervising agency for the proper, more effective, and efficient implementation of the country’s anti-drug law or Republic Act. No. 9165.
“Itong hearing na ito would be able to explain to them (PDEA and PNP) really the intention of the authority,” Sotto said.
“Siguro tingin ng iba parang imbestigasyon tungkol dun sa nangyari, konektado sapagkat hindi mangyayari yun eh kung sinunod nila yung bill ko eh,” he added.
(Maybe they think this will be an investigation on what happened, but it’s connected because this would’ve never happened if they only abided by my bill.)
“Bakit naman nila pipigilan yung hearing sa Senado eh tungkol sa batas yung pagu-usapan namin? Hindi naman sa imbestigasyon sa nangyari eh.”
(Why would they stop a Senate hearing if we’re talking about a bill? We’re not talking about an investigation here.)
Four people were killed while four others were hurt in the shootout between agents of the PDEA’s Special Enforcement Service (SES) agents and the Quezon City Police District’s (QCPD) Special Operations Unit (DSOU) in Quezon City on Wednesday.
Surigao del Sur 2nd District Rep. Robert Ace Barbers, meanwhile, already announced that the House of Representatives will defer its probe on the matter. This hearing was originally scheduled for Monday, March 1.
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