• Senate justice panel tackles death penalty


    SENATOR Richard “Dick” Gordon, the head of the Senate committee on justice and human rights, suspended indefinitely the presentation of Commission of Human Rights witnesses on extrajudicial killings and instead tackled the measure calling for the reimposition of the death penalty.

    The committee was supposed to resume its investigation on the rampant extrajudicial killings and summary executions of suspected criminals Thursday.

    But Gordon suspended the presentation of witnesses and asked the CHR commissioner to come up with a statement disassociating the commission from the “dishonorable” statement issued recently by one of its commissioners against the senator.

    Gordon was referring to the statement of Commissioner Roberto Eugenio Cadiz criticizing the senator for supposedly suspending the hearings prematurely and calling him a coward.

    “I challenge him as a commissioner, the only way for him to recover his credibility as chair is to continue with the hearing and listen to the other witnesses. Otherwise, there is every reason to believe he is the coward here and not Matobato or De Lima,” Cadiz had said.

    Gordon asked the CHR headed by Chito Gascon to come up with an official statement disassociating the commission from the statement of Cadiz.

    Sen. Leila de Lima appealed to the committee members present to reconsider their decision to disallow the presentation of the witnesses considering that they have been waiting for the chance to speak but Gordon denied the request and instead proceeded with the hearing on the death penalty bill, which was not even part of the scheduled hearing. JEFFERSON ANTIPORDA


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