Sen. Leila de Lima on Tuesday is seeking for more hearings into the rise of killings of alleged drug suspects under President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs, claiming that there are still witnesses that have yet to testify and new developments that have not been accounted for.
The senator argued that it was premature for the Senate’s Committee on Justice and Human Rights chairperson Sen. Richard Gordon to terminate the hearings and proclaim that enough information has already been gathered to come up with a report.
She added that there is no enough basis for Gordon to say that the President Duterte’s links to the numerous deaths of these drug suspects could not be established as well as the existence of the Davao Death Squad.
“If it were up to me, I would seek a few more hearings,” De Lima told reporters.
It was premature to terminate the proceedings, and it is even more premature to say there’s no evidence that the killings are state-sponsored, because several aspects could still be looked into,” the senator added.
As a response, Gordon told reporters: “No! Do they have another platform?”
LOOK: Sen. De Lima seeks further hearings on Senate EJK probe pic.twitter.com/y2mpttpTFM
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De Lima claimed that there are still several witnesses who were not able to testify. These were those who filed their complaints before the Commission on Human Rights (CHR). Their claim is that officials are involved in the deaths of their loved ones. These testimonies, De Lima said, were not heard during the six-session proceedings.
The senator also said that they have not evaluated spot reports from PNP, Soco, and the like. Thus, it is not fair to conclude that these “killings are not state sponsored.”
On the other hand, co-chair of the inquiry Sen. Panfilo Lacson said that he is “open to reopen” the proceedings but only if there were corroborative testimony to that of confessed DDS member and hitman Edgar Matobato.
Gordon, Lacson, and some other senators doubt the credibility of Matobato.