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Sen. Richard J. Gordon, chairperson of the Senate Committee on Justice and Human Rights, heeded the call of his colleagues and said he would file a resolution calling for a Senate investigation on the killing of Albuera, Leyte Mayor Rolando Espinosa and drug suspect Raul Yap at the sub-provincial jail in Baybay City, Leyte Saturday.
Gordon said he would file the resolution after he submits the panel’s findings on the alleged rampant extrajudicial killings which the committee investigated and concluded just before the Senate went into a two-week recess starting last October 22.
Gordon said he would discuss the matter with Sen. Panfilo “Ping” M. Lacson, the vice chairman of the committee, who has expressed his intention to seek the resumption of the Senate’s investigation into the alleged extrajudicial killings following the killing of Espinosa.
“We will have to conduct a separate investigation on this case because we have wrapped up the previous investigation and the committee report is ready for submission,” Gordon said.
Gordon had said he is alarmed over Espinosa’s killing, describing the incident “a dagger in the heart of the criminal justice system.”
Meanwhile, the timely passage of the proposed R3.35-trillion national budget for next year and the granting of emergency powers to President Duterte to solve the traffic crisis will top the Senate and House agenda when it resumes sessions today.
Senate President Koko Pimentel had committed to House Speaker Pantaleon D. Alvarez their focus and cooperation on passing the 2017 General Appropriations Act before the end of the year.
Pimentel said the Senate was closely coordinating with the House of Representatives to ensure that the budget will be enacted into law as scheduled. The House passed its version of the bill last October 17.
Pimentel said the Senate plans to approve its version of the budget bill on third and final reading in the last week of November.
The House also will prioritize the ratification of the national budget as well as the passage of measures seeking to restore the death penalty, granting emergency powers to Duterte to resolve the traffic crisis, and amend the 1987 Constitution to pave way for a switch to a federal form of government. (Hannah L. Torregoza and Charissa M. Luci)