Press Release
August 1, 2023

COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC ORDER AND DANGEROUS DRUGS
OPENING STATEMENT
August 1, 2023


Agenda: P.S. Res. No. 698 - Alleged Inhumane, Violent and Highly Irregular Acts Perpetrated by the PNP Personnel and Unknown Persons Against Mayor Samson Dumanjug of Bonifacio, Misamis Occidental (By: Sen. Dela Rosa)


"Public office is a public trust." Time and again, all of us in these halls may have heard this, one way or the other. With these words we are reminded of what we are here for. But more than a reminder, it is also a warning for us to always choose the path of righteousness and integrity.

Noong Abril, nagsagawa tayo ng mga pagdinig tungkol sa pagpaslang kay Governor Roel Degamo ng Negros Oriental and other political killings that happened in that province. Both parties, Governor Degamo and Congressman Teves, were my friends pero isinantabi ko muna ang aming pagkakaibigan in the interest of truth and justice. Dahil sa mga panahon na iyon, ang aking hangarin ay ang paglitaw ng katotohanan, mapanagot ang may kasalanan at paggawa ng mga remedial measures to restore public order in the province of Negros Oriental.

Ang probinsya ng Misamis [Occidental] ay napakalapit sa aking puso dahil sa kasagsagan ng ating kampanya sa war on drugs noong ako ay Chief PNP pa ay ating siniguro na ang Ozamiz City at ibang munisipalidad ng probinsya ay mapalaya from the tyranny and control of narco-politicians at sana ay hindi ito makakalimutan ng ating mga, sa atong mga kaigsuonan dinha sa probinsya sa Mis. Occ.

Sa ating pagdinig sa araw na ito, may dalawang panig na dapat pakinggan: ang kampo ni Mayor Samson Dumanjug, at ang kampo ng mga nagsasabing hindi siya ang nararapat umupo sa puwesto. Hindi po kami narito upang humusga o magpataw ng parusa. Kami po ay narito upang makinig sa bawat testimonya, ng magkabilang-panig at mula sa mga ito ay makabuo ng mga rekomendasyon at makasulat ng mga panukalang batas.

But you see, my dear companions in public service, there are more than two sides to every story. There is a third side - the complete and unfiltered truth - which is what we hope to unearth in today's hearing. I hope that my experience in law enforcement can very well contribute to our goal of ferreting out the truth.

To be frank, more than our positions and reputations, it is the trust of our public that hangs in the balance. Kapag may balita na ang isang opisyal na hinalal sa pinuwesto ay puwersahang pinapaalis. Kung may balitang may public official na sinampahan ng kaso ng graft and corruption, o di kaya ay disobedience to authority. Kung iyong mga pulis, na pinagkakatiwalaan nating magtaguyod ng kapayapaan at kaayusan sa ating mga komunidad ay nasasangkot sa mga masalimuot na mga kaso.

Ang pinakaunang tanong dapat natin ay: ano ang nararamdaman ng sambayanang Pilipino?

Filipinos who trust and hold on to the power of the ballot and to the integrity of the electoral process. Filipinos who believe that in exercising their rights, they contribute directly to the improvement of the nation. Those who continue to trust in our law enforcement agencies, that they can and will fulfill their duties. It is to them that we owe our positions, and more importantly, to them that we owe the best possible public service that we can offer.

What makes my situation unique is that I have been privileged to be on both fences - the executive and the legislative. Ito rin ang dahilan kung bakit alam ko na hindi madali ang trabaho natin. Sa taumbayan tayo humuhugot ng lakas ng loob upang magampanan natin nang wasto ang ating mga tungkulin.

For purposes of full disclosure, I am putting it on record that during the last elections, I supported the political opponents of Governor Oaminal, not in the form of material or financial support but only moral support. I joined them in one of their big political rallies.

Nevertheless, I can confidently assure everyone that this will not prevent me from being fair, neutral and objective, especially as the Chairman of this Committee. The integrity of the Senate is one that I value dearly. Same as how I value my own. Because if there is anything that I am firm about, it is the truth and nothing but the truth. Kaya't makakaasa po kayo na sa pagdinig na ito, ito ay trabaho lang, walang personalan, walang pulitikahan.

Huwag nating hayaang mawalan ng saysay ang ating tiwalang ipinagkaloob sa atin. Let us restore and maintain the public's trust, in our institutions, our governance, our nation.

Maraming salamat po.

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