Press Release
July 11, 2016

Drilon to Calida: 'You cannot stop Senate investigation'

Solicitor General Jose Calida cannot stop the Senate from investigating allegations of extra-judicial killings in the ongoing aggressive campaign against illegal drugs, Senate President Franklin M. Drilon said today.

"While we laud and support the campaign against illegal drugs of the Philippine National Police (PNP), the Senate cannot sit idly on allegations of extra-judicial killings that saw a spike in the recent months," Drilon said.

"We will assert our Constitutional duty to investigate illegal, unjust, improper, or inefficient acts committed by any public official in order to strengthen our existing laws on this matter, and to further aid the campaign of the President against illegal drugs," Drilon said.

Drilon stressed that the Senate is mandated no less than by the Constitution to conduct inquiries in aid of legislation.

He said that the Senate is authorized to conduct investigation of "malfeasance, misfeasance and nonfeasance in office by officers and employees of the government, its branches, agencies, subdivisions and instrumentalities."

"We will not hesitate to invoke the power of the Senate to compel the attendance of witnesses and resource persons if such attendance is necessary for the Senate to perform its constitutionally mandated function," Drilon said.

He underscored that the Supreme Court, in the case of Senate vs. Executive Secretary, upheld this power when it ruled against Executive Order 464 in 2006, deciding that attendance of witnesses and resource persons "is compulsory in inquiries in aid of legislation."

The Senate chief said that Calida's remarks "undermine the independence of the Senate and our very own democracy."

"I am alarmed by the remarks made by Calida. His remarks were uncalled for and reek of arrogance, unbecoming of a solicitor general," Drilon said.

"What is he afraid of?" he added.

Drilon said that the Solicitor General "should not interfere nor impede any legislative inquiry of the Senate."

"As a lawyer, he should be aware that the Supreme Court has repeatedly upheld the power of the Senate to conduct investigations as constitutional and legitimate," Drilon said.

Drilon also said that Calida's action is not only an affront to the power of the Senate, but also compromises the effort of the President to foster transparency and accountability under his presidency.

News Latest News Feed