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Poe urges cops turned whistleblowers to come out

Sen. Grace Poe is hoping the Whistleblowers Acts will finally hurdle the Senate and the Congress as the measure aims to provide security and monetary grants for whistleblowers. Photo from Office of Sen. Grace Poe

MANILA, Philippines — Sen. Grace Poe on Tuesday encouraged police officers who have sought the protection of the Catholic Church to come out and testify about their participation in killings in the government's war on drugs.

In a statement Monday, Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines President Socrates Villegas said law enforcers have approached priests to seek sanctuary and aid because “their consciences are troubling them.”

“That is part of finding out the truth. We encourage everyone to come out but we also have to have something in place to guarantee their safety,” Poe said.

During the Senate probe into extrajudicial killings Monday, Sen. Panfilo Lacson, a former Philippine National Police chief, urged the Catholic Church to deliver the police officers to the Senate inquiry.

While the senators welcomed the confessed cops to testify in the hearings on extrajudicial killings, they would also have to validate their claims.

“Kapag sinabi nila [...] depends on what their testimony will be and if it can be proven na mayroon talaga kasi kahit sino pwedeng lumabas at magsabi na 'Hindi, inutusan kami.' Kailangan mapatunayan kung totoo nga ‘yun na hindi naman sila nag-de-destabilize lang,” Poe said.

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She added: “Hindi naman porke't nagpunta ka sa simbahan, pulis ka, eh verified na iyon. We need to do our due diligence.”

Poe said it will take a lot of courage and conscience for the cops to come out.

“Sa tingin ko ‘yung mga pulis hindi naman iyan lalabas at isusugal ang kanilang kaligtasan at hanapbuhay kung hindi sila talagang nababagabag. Bakit nila gagawin iyon, para isugal ang lahat ng seguridad na ito, para ilabas lang,” she said.

Poe is hoping the Whistleblowers Acts will finally hurdle the Senate and the Congress.

The measure aims to provide security and monetary grants for whistleblowers.

“Hindi naman pwedeng sa simbahan sila titira,” the senator said. 

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