De Lima bucks Cayetano's call to inhibit from killings probe

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(L-R) Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano and Sen. Leila de Lima

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — After the Senate held a two-day hearing on alleged extrajudicial killings in relation to the ongoing war on drugs, Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano deemed the chairperson herself of the Justice committee was unfit to continue presiding over the probe.

Cayetano told reporters on Wednesday that Sen. Leila de Lima was evidently biased against the government's efforts against the illegal drug trade — and therefore should steer clear of any subsequent hearings on the matter.

"That's why I'm thinking of drafting a letter asking Sen. De Lima to inhibit herself from the hearing kasi may pre-judgement na siya (she had prejudged it)," Cayetano said.

Related: De Lima: I guarantee fair, professional inquiry

Cayetano explained that this was so because for De Lima, all those who who died were summarily executed, whereas the Commission on Human Rights itself had said that extrajudicial killings were those wherein no one was punished or prosecuted.

But De Lima would have none of it.

Instead, she said if being biased was the issue, it's Cayetano who was "very biased in favor of the administration." Cayetano's was the President's running mate in the last elections,

De Lima added that inhibition can not be imposed or mandatory — since it's a matter of personal discretion of the person being sought to inhibit.

The Senate held hearings on Monday and Tuesday to look into the rising number of alleged extrajudicial killings of drug suspects.

On the first day, two female witnesses linked policemen to the deaths of their loved ones and the illegal drug trade.

Related: Dela Rosa: PNP more aggressive vs drugs due to President's full support

Philippine National Police Chief Ronald "Bato" dela Rosa told senators on the second day that the difference between the current and past drives against drugs was that policemen were now more aggressive due to the President's full support.

CNN Philippines' Cecille Lardizabal contributed to this report.