De Lima hostage-taking probe eyed

Senator Jinggoy Estrada on Thursday filed a resolution seeking an investigation on the attempted escape of three detainees and the subsequent hostage-taking of former senator Leila de Lima at the Philippine National Police Custodial Center in Camp Crame, Quezon City.

In Senate Resolution 258, Estrada said the “ill-fated incident which left three detainees dead, one severely injured police officer in critical condition, and former Senator De Lima wounded and traumatized, brought to the fore security lapses on the part of the PNP.”

He stressed that while De Lima, who was held hostage by Feliciano Sulayao Jr., one of the three detainees who allegedly tried to escape, was successfully rescued, the incident left a question on the capacity of the PNP to fulfill its mandate.

“While ultimately resulting in the successful rescue of Sen. De Lima from her attacker and demonstrated the swift and decisive action of the police officers during a crisis situation, nonetheless the incident reflects poorly on the police organization’s capacity to perform their mandate of preventing crimes, enforcing laws, maintaining public order, and ensuring public safety,” he said.

He made the remarks following the admission of PNP chief Gen. Rodolfo Azurin Jr. of lapses in the handling of detainees.

Estrada, in citing the necessity of the investigation, underscored the prevention of any untoward and violent incidents within Camp Crame’s premises.

In the aftermath of the incident, the lawmaker expressed concern over allegations of maltreatment of detainees and the claims made by Sulayao when he took De Lima hostage.

“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.

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