First draft of Senate Justice Committee report onEJKs recommends filing of charges vs. DDS hitman
Senator Richard “Dick” Gordon on Monday, October 17, said that the Senate Committee on Justice and Human Rights has already finished the first draft of a committee report on the Senate inquiry into extrajudicial killings.
“We have finished the first draft. We’ll go with the second draft hopefully as early as tomorrow (Tuesday) or as late as Wednesday. It will be (released) before the break,” Gordon told reporters in an interview.
Gordon did not reveal the contents of the committee report but said that the Senate panel will recommend the filing of charges against witness and self-confessed Davao Death Squad (DDS) hitman Edgar Matobato.
“He can be charged with perjury and murder because he admitted. We will submit it to proper authorities for proper disposition,” Gordon said.
The senator, however, said that he still does not trust the testimony of Matobato since it was riddled with “lies.”
Also included in the committee report will be recommendations to make it “easier” for wayward police officers to be charged, Gordon said.
“In the future it will be easier for them (police) to be charged,” the senator further said.
Asked if he believed that extrajudicial killings were state-sponsored, Gordon pointed out that killings began even before the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte.
“If you look at our reports, there are many from 2010 to 2016. We are looking at the extrajudicial killings. There are many of them,” he said.
“Definitely, there are many killings. To be fair, there were many killings in the past that have not been solved. It only seems to be a fad now because our President is noisy,” he added.
Gordon also said that he believed that there are many police officers involved in killings but refused to describe them as state-sponsored or state-inspired killings noting that the cops were “moving on their own.”
He meanwhile assured that President Duterte will be “safe” from any charges for now since the existence of extrajudicial killings related to the intensified anti-illegal drugs campaign and to the DDS has not been proven.
Senator Leila de Lima, former chair, now member of the committee, said that she would have to review the report before she decides whether to concur or decent.
She said that she found it “premature” to terminate the Senate hearings without inviting other witnesses which were going to be presented by the Commission on Human Rights (CHR).
“I don’t like it that there is termination of proceedings. To me it’s still premature. Why don’t we listen to the other CHR witnesses? Any conclusion that the killings are not state-sponsored to me would also be premature,” de Lima said.
Last week, Gordon decided to terminate the Senate inquiry into extrajudicial killings without inviting witnesses meant to be presented by the CHR.
Gordon also said that there was no need to hear Matobato’s testimony any longer.
De Lima meanwhile said that she found Gordon’s recommendation to charge Matobato with perjury without basis.
“I don’t think there is a good basis for perjury because the guy says that what he is saying is true and there is evidence. The testimony of Edgar Matobato should not be immediately dismissed,” de Lima said.(PNA)