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Senate probe on EJKs terminated


The Senate committee on justice and human rights has decided to terminate its investigation into the recent spate of extrajudicial killings (EJKs) with the conclusion that the summary executions are not state-sponsored by President Rodrigo Duterte’s administration.

Senator Richard Gordon, chair of the Senate panel, said that Duterte’s zeal to eradicate the rampant illegal drug trade cannot be considered the main reason why killings of suspected drug pushers became rampant in the country.

“You’d be a fool to say he’s sponsoring killings. He’d be a fool and I don’t think he’s a fool,” Gordon told reporters after the hearing.

“Duterte is inspired to kill drugs because he really means to eradicate drugs but I don’t think he’s really going to push anybody to kill,” the senator said.

Gordon also said he would start drafting the committee report and hope to come up with a full report on Monday, Oct. 17.

“Monday, I’ll try to make a full report on Monday. We are taking down notes all the way,” he said.

Gordon discussed at length the possible recommendation of the panel, including the possible filing of perjury cases against whistleblower Edgar Matobato, who pointed to Duterte as the mastermind of the Davao death squad who are supposedly responsible for number of vigilante killings in Davao city where he was the mayor.

“I can show you even now, the many inconsistencies of Matobato. We worked on that,” Gordon said.

But he said he has yet to consult other members of the panel, considering that the whistleblower is already facing trial and already incarcerated at the Philippine National Police (PNP) in Camp Crame over illegal possession of firearms.

Gordon said it was also obvious that Senators Leila de Lima and Antonio Trillanes IV were behind Matobato in an effort to try and pin down the former Davao city mayor in the Davao death squad and in the recent spate of killings. (Hannah L. Torregoza)