PNP wants extension of deadline in submitting drug war records to Supreme Court

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This story was updated to include Dela Rosa's statement on being ready to face charges.

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, April 18) — The Philippine National Police needs more time to gather documents on the controversial war on drugs for submission to the Supreme Court, outgoing Police Chief Ronald "Bato" Dela Rosa said on Wednesday.

Dela Rosa revealed they were "not yet ready" and will ask for an extension of the deadline from the high court.

"Kakasign ko lang kanina ng papel na [I just signed a] letter to the Solicitor General requesting the Supreme Court to give us ample time to prepare everything," said Dela Rosa. "Napakarami noon, voluminous talaga [There's a lot (of papers), they're voluminous]."

During the hearing on petitions questioning the legality of the government's war on illegal drugs, the Supreme Court on April 3 directed Solicitor General Jose Calida to submit within 15 days pertinent documents from the PNP.

These documents include a list of persons killed in police operations, a list of deaths under investigation, and a list of arrests both with and without a warrant among others.

Calida at first refused, but Malacanang Palace has since said it was necessary to follow the high court.

However, Dela Rosa stressed that while their "intention is to comply," they would still seek the guidance of the President.

"Pag sabihin niya na huwag, sino ang susundin ko? Susundin ko ang Presidente [If he says don't, who do I follow? The President]," he said.

President Rodrigo Duterte's controversial drug war has seen over 4,000 deaths in police operations, according to government figures. Human rights watchdogs have pinned the deaths, including those from vigilante-style killings, at about 13,000.

The anti-illegal drugs policy has been criticized worldwide, even sparking action from the International Criminal Court to conduct a preliinary examination on the government's drug campaign.

Dela Rosa ready to face charges

Dela Rosa also said he is ready to face possible charges against him after he steps down from his post.

"I have the balls to face anything you are going to charge against me. Bakit ko tatakbuhan yung responsibilidad na yan [Why would I run from it]?" said Dela Rosa. "It happened during my time as the Chief (of Police)... so I am accountable for that."

Apart from the Supreme Court hearing arguments regarding the war on drugs, the ICC is looking to conduct a preliminary examination on the Philippines to determine whether a formal investigation on the killings is necessary.

The Duterte administration initially said it welcomes the probe, but later withdrew from the international court. Duterte on April 13 warned ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda she would be arrested if she sets foot in the country.

Dela Rosa will turn his position over to Metro Manila Police Chief Oscar Albayalde on Thursday. Dela Rosa said he will go home to Davao after the turnover ceremony.

Watch the full interview with Dela Rosa here.