- News in Photo
By HANNAH L. TORREGOZA
Sen. Antonio F. Trillanes IV and Sen. Richard J. Gordon yesterday clashed anew over the Senate Justice and Human Rights Committee’s controversial committee report that effectively cleared President Duterte’s hand into the rampant extrajudicial killings in the country.
A defiant Trillanes called Gordon a Duterte “lackey” and said he won’t waste his time on committee’s rushed findings which he regarded a “piece of garbage.”
In particular, Trillanes blasted Gordon, the committee chairman, for dismissing Edgar Matobato’s testimony during the hearing about the existence of the Davao Death Squad.
Matobato had confessed to be a member of the DDS which Duterte allegedly formed when he was Davao City mayor.
“That’s the part where in Sen. Gordon shows he is indeed a lackey of President Duterte. The whole country saw the testimony of Edgar Matobato (and how) he was able to show evidence of his links to the (Davao) mayor’s office,” Trillanes said in an interview over ANC Headstart.
“He has the gun issued to him, by the policemen involved in the heinous investigation section and he was already charged with kidnapping and murder and yet he continued to be part of that office of the city mayor,” Trillanes said.
“Remember this man is illiterate, he’s not qualified to own a gun but the gun was given to him by the policemen and he has records to show,” he pointed out.
Gordon, on the other hand, said Trillanes and Sen. Leila M. de Lima should have presented enough evidence to prove Matobato is a credible witness and sufficient proof that the Davao Death Squad really existed.
“Well they were not able to present evidence to prove that. And if they have a long running feud with the President they should not take it out on the committee. Why treat the committee report as garbage, lackey kami, lackey ako. Why is it so personal?” Gordon lamented.
“Can this man not argue on the matter of issues? Is he so weak of mind, so weak of integrity that he could not argue on the floor? Because we tried to do that before, he goes out of the Senate and starts attacking us, and that is not the purpose of the Senate,” Gordon added.
The Senate Justice Committee head said that if Trillanes and De Lima are fully bent on linking the President to the alleged extra-judicial killings, then they should air their grievances to Congress and pursue impeachment proceedings against Duterte.
“If they do not like Duterte and they think he is sponsoring state killings, there’s the Congress! They can easily file a case against him. At least make a try to impeach him,” Gordon said.
“But don’t go on trial by publicity where you’re sitting there and talking about your colleagues in the Senate with disrespect. That I think is really unfortunate,” he said.