PNP Chief: Drug war oral arguments part of 'grand design'

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, November 8) — Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Director General Ronald Dela Rosa on Wednesday said he believes there is a hidden agenda behind a hearing in the Supreme Court over the anti-drug campaign once handled by police.

"They are having some grand designs kung bakit sila ganu'n nang ganu'n. May mga background 'yan, and we will answer that in the proper forum," Dela Rosa said in a press conference at Camp Crame, Quezon City.

[Translation: They are having some grand designs why they insist on that. There's a background there, and we will answer that in the proper forum.]

Dela Rosa's statement came after the high court on Tuesday set November 21 as the date for oral arguments on the government's war on drugs and alleged extrajudicial killings.

READ: SC orders oral arguments on drug war, EJKs

Two separate lawyer groups filed petitions to address the PNP's anti-drug campaign. The drug campaign was suspended on October 12 after President Rodrigo Duterte stripped the PNP of its lead role in it and transferred the campaign to the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency.

READ: Lawyer's group files SC petition vs drug war

READ: Duterte gives PDEA lead role in drug war

"Wala naman kami ngayon. Huminto na nga kami, di ba? Eh bakit insisting pa rin sila na pahintuin kami?" Dela Rosa said.

[Translation: We have already stopped our operations, right? Why are they still insisting for us to stop?]

The police said 76,863 anti-drug operations were conducted from July 1, 2016 to September 26, 2017, resulting in the death of 3,906 drug personalities and the arrest of 113,932 others.

The drug war has been criticized by members of the administration, some opposition lawmakers, the United Nations, and local and international human rights groups over the alleged extrajudicial killings.