Gordon 'covered up' Duterte, gov't hand in killings – Trillanes
MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – They say the word war between them is over. But could it really be?
After the termination of the Senate probe, Senator Antonio Trillanes IV accused Senator Richard Gordon of “covering up” the role of the Duterte administration in the spate of extrajudicial killings.
“Eventually, the truth would come out and when that day comes, Senator Gordon should be remembered as one of those who tried to cover it up,” Trillanes said in a statement.
This came after Gordon, the new chairman of the Senate justice committee, said that the 6 hearings failed to prove that President Rodrigo Duterte or the government sponsored the executions.
Trillanes slammed Gordon for his conclusions, saying the latter did not even try to investigate the matter.
“Sen. Gordon cannot prove what he did not attempt to investigate in the first place,” Trillanes said in his statement.
“He can go on a monologue again to try to justify his actions but he won't be able to convince the people who witnessed what transpired during the hearings,” Trillanes added.
Senator Panfilo Lacson, chairman of the public order committee also tasked to hear the matter, said the issue of the Davao Death Squad killings might still be reopened if another witness can corroborate Matobato's testimony.
"Either a corroborating witness or physical evidence man lang, pwedeng mag resume ulit upon manifestation on the floor. Otherwise, it's pointless to continue the investigation because of so many inconsistencies, even to the point of perjuring himself before the committee," Lacson said in a text message.
Gordon, Lacson, and several other senators have expressed doubts about the credibility of the former hitman. (READ: Matobato's hits and misses)
It was Gordon who was elected by the majority of senators to replace Senator Leila de Lima, the President’s fiercest critic, as the committee head. (READ: Senators: De Lima ousted for being 'biased,' anti-Duterte)
De Lima, with a vote of 16-4, was ousted as panel chairperson days after she presented witness Edgar Matobato, a self-confessed hitman of the Davao Death Squad, who accused Duterte of ordering killings when he was Davao City mayor. (READ: Edgar Matobato: Liar or truth-teller?)
Trillanes, also a critic of Duterte, is an ally of De Lima. It was the former who granted Matobato protective custody after Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III – the President’s partymate in PDP-Laban – rejected the request.
Trillanes and Gordon were earlier embroiled in a heated word war after Trillanes allowed Matobato to leave the Senate premises without the committee’s permission. – Rappler.com