A CHURCH official urged Senator Leila de Lima to abstain from attending the investigations on the increasing incidence of killings of suspected drug personalities.

In an interview, Msgr. Joseph Tan, spokesperson for the Archdiocese of Cebu, said de Lima should excuse herself from leading the Senate investigations as she is also under scrutiny over her alleged involvement in illegal drugs.

Last week, President Rodrigo Duterte accused de Lima of being a protector of illegal drug activities being conducted inside the New Bilibid Prisons.

Tan said that even though de Lima deserves to undergo due process, she must abstain as head of the investigation panel to avoid casting doubts on the inquiry being done by the Senate.

The church spokesperson also hopes that the truth will come out during the investigations and determine who are involved in the deaths of suspected drug personalities in extrajudicial killings.

“We hope nga ang kamatuoran mugawas. Once mugawas ang kamatuoran, mupatigbabaw gyud ang kagawasan (We hope that the truth will come out. Once it’s out, freedom will rule),” he added.

Tan earlier expressed concern over the increasing number of unsolved killings nationwide despite the improving crime rate due to the President’s war against illegal drugs.

He urged the local police to continue its war against illegal drugs and criminality but within the bounds of the law.

During the Senate hearing this week, De Lima and other senators grilled PNP Director Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa over the increasing number of extrajudicial killings happening all over the country.

Since Duterte assumed office last July 1, around 1,700 suspected drug dealers and users have been killed in the President’s war against illegal drugs.

But Dela Rosa said that aside from criminals, police officers also sacrificed their lives to ensure the success of the PNP’s total war against illegal drugs.

Nine policemen and three members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) were killed, while 18 cops and eight soldiers have been wounded in the illegal drug campaign.