Lacson to Solgen Calida: You cannot stop us

  • Ping Lacson hits Solgen Jose Calida’s ‘snub’ remarks over the Senate inquiry
  • The former PNP chief reiterates only the Supreme Court can stop the Senate from summoning resource persons
  • He believes, however, that there is still not enough basis to conduct probe on the recent spate of killings

MANILA, Philippines – Senator Panfilo ‘Ping’ Lacson fires back at Solicitor General Jose Calida’s statement encouraging police officers to snub a congressional inquiry if they deemed it would serve only to dampen the morale of the men in uniform, and not necessarily ‘in aid of legislation.’

In an interview over DZMM, Lacson, a former Philippine National Police (PNP) chief, slams Calida’s remark as ‘arrogant’ and ‘high-handed’ because it supposedly appears to threaten the independence of the legislative branch.

“Yung sinabi ni Solgen Calida, that’s a bit arogante at saka high-handed ang pagkasabi niya dahil ang puwede lamang magpapigil sa amin, ‘yung magpatawag, ay Korte Suprema pagka mayroong nakita na grave abuse of discretion,” explained Lacson.

[The remarks of Solgen Calida seems a bit arrogant and high-handed because the only one who can stop us is the Supreme Court if it finds grave abuse of discretion.]

Lacson was referring to Calida’s statements during a press conference on Monday defending the current administration’s all-out campaign against illegal drugs.

Calida, who vowed to defend police officers who will be subjected to an inquiry, said: “The Office of the Solicitor-General will be the first line of defense. We will assess if the [Senate] investigation is really in aid of legislation. If it is not, then we will advise the PNP not to attend.”

He also encouraged the law enforcers not to be afraid of any legislative inquiries even as he slammed this so-called probes as nothing but “in aid of media mileage.”

But Lacson dares Calida to review an early Surpeme Court decision that “upheld the power of Congress to conduct investigations in aid of legislation and summon resource persons” after the High Court struck down part of then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s Executive Order No. 464 forbidding Cabinet officials from attending investigation without the President’s permission.

“Otherwise, hindi kami puwedeng pigilan nang maski sino, much less the SolGen, para sabihing isnabin ninyo yan, ‘wag kayong pumunta diyan. Mali yata yun,” Lacson stressed.

[Otherwise, we cannot be stopped by anyone, much less the Solgen, by saying ‘you can snub that’, ‘you don’t have to attend’, because that’s wrong.]

However, Lacson believed there is still not enough basis for the Senate to launch an investigation into the spate of killings, despite his colleague Senator Leila De Lima’s insistence.