Senate panel to probe Lascanas allegations

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THE Senate committee on public order and dangerous drugs will proceed with its investigation into the “public confession” of retired police officer Arturo Lascañas that President Rodrigo Duterte ordered the killing of criminals and the bombing of a mosque when he was the mayor of Davao City.

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No senator questioned the referral of the case by Senator Antonio Trillanes 4th the panel chaired by Sen. Panfilo Lacson.

“As of now, the referral to the public order committee is on status quo,” Lacson told reporters.

Senators “voted” to allow the investigation to proceed during a caucus Tuesday night.

Among the senators who backed the investigation were Senate President Pro Tempore Franklin Drilon, Senators Sonny Angara, Paolo Benigno Aquino 4th, Leila De lima, Francis Escudero, Risa Hontiveros, Ralph Recto, Francis Pangilinan, Joel Villanueva, and Trillanes.

Senate Majority leader Vicente Sotto 3rd, Nancy Binay, Panfilo Lacson, Loren Legarda and Gregorio Honasan 2nd abstained from voting. Those who opposed were Senate President Aquilino Pimentel 3rd, Senators Joseph Victor Ejercito, Sherwin Gatchalian, Richard Gordon, Manny Pacquiao , Cynthia Villar, and Juan Miguel Zubiri.

During the plenary session on Wednesday, Gordon delivered a privileged speech expressing his opposition to the move to allow Lascañas to speak before the Senate once again. He said Lascañas’s confession proved that he lied under oath when he attended the hearing of the Senate committee on justice and human rights last year.

The panel chaired by Gordon already came up with a report absolving Duterte from involvement in the extrajudicial killings in Davao City.

“He lied! If he only told us the truth do you think I would not have done the right thing? But he did not give me a chance,” Gordon said.

He said allowing Lascañas to testify again to tell a different story about the Davao Death Squad would have a negative effect on the institution.

“I cannot allow this madness. If it‘s going to be referred to my committee I will not hear it unless there is new evidence,” Gordon added.

But Lacson said since the case was referred to his committee, it is his obligation to hear it.

Lacson said he has coordinated with the office of Trillanes for the submission of Lascañas’ sworn statement. Thereafter, the panel will determine who will be invited as resource persons during the inquiry. Jefferson Antiporda

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2 Comments

  1. aladin g. villacorte on

    It happens all the time – a witness contradicting his own prior statement given under oath or not, and it happens for a variety of reasons. Circumstances change, so do people. When Lascanas took the stand before the Senate committee he was still in PNP uniform. His hands were tied. In all probability he was coached, nay, dictated, to say that the DDS never existed. It was a flat denial, no elaboration was necessary.

    But now, in reversing himself, this time wearing civilian clothes, he had to offer corroborative facts, a credible narration of events, to make his turn-around convincing.

    We change our minds about small things almost everyday, but it takes courage to declare a change of mind about life-and-death issues. When Lascanas follows what he knows his conscience is telling him to do, he is making a game-changing decision, one for which he is willing to accept all the consequences.