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House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez yesterday slammed Sen. Leila M. de Lima for leading the probe into the alleged involvement of law enforcers in extrajudicial killings, saying that it is now time for legislators to stop acting like prosecutors or judges.
In a radio interview, Alvarez also disclosed that the House probe into reports of rampant drug trafficking at the New Bilibid Prison in Muntinlupa City during De Lima’s term as Justice Secretary will likely start next week.
Alvarez chided De Lima for accusing the House of convening itself into a “kangaroo court” that is expected to persecute her while zeroing its probe into her alleged involvement in the NBP drug mess.
He said the lady senator is mistaken in claiming that only she is capable of conducting an investigation into the rising drug abuse problem besetting the country.
“Bakit kung siya ang mag-iimbistiga, tama, tapos kapag iyong House of Representatives ang mag-iimbistiga, hindi tama?” the House leader asked.
Alvarez said De Lima was dead wrong in claiming that the House legislative inquiry is all about her.
“Hindi si De Lima ang iimbistigahin natin dito kundi iyong paglaganap noong illegal na droga doon sa New Bilibid Prison noong kapanahunan na siya ay Secretary of Justice,” he said.
Unlike the House probe which is meant at determining legislation that would address the NBP drug trade, the Senate investigation into extra-judicial killings is directed towards determining the culprits behind the drug-related murders, explained Alvarez.
“We belong to the Legislative branch. We cannot act as if we are in the judiciary branch. We cannot usurp the powers of the Judiciary. We do not even have prosecutorial functions or prosecutorial powers,” the Davao del Norte lawmaker noted. (Ben R. Rosario)