Gordon calls Lascañas a ‘juke box’, discourages another hearing

admin   •   February 23, 2017   •   3684

MANILA, Philippines — Justice committee chair Senator Richard Gordon opposed the decision of the majority of senators to allow retired police SPO3 Arturo Lascañas to appear again in a hearing where he can say under oath his new admissions on the existence of the Davao Death Squad and President Rodrigo Duterte’s orders to kill criminals.

Gordon said it would be an insult to the Senate if they will allow Lascañas to retract his statements in the previous hearings.

He added that it does not matter to him if another committee is tapped to continue the investigation on the Davao Death Squad and on alleged cases of extrajudicial killings.

“Ang sampal ay hindi kay Dick Gordon, nasa Senado kasi nasinungaling ka sa Senado. Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice shame on me. There is no second chance. Walang baril na nakatutok sa ulo ni Lascañas nung humarap siya dito,” said Gordon.

(It’s not a slap in the face of Dick Gordon, but of the Senate because you [Lascañas] already lied to the Senate. Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice shame on me. There is no second chance. No one was pointing a gun at him to talk when he last appeared before the Senate.)

WATCH: Death squad vs. President Duterte is not an impeachable offense – lawmakers

The senator reiterated that under his committee report on extrajudicial killings, the so-called Davao Death Squad does not exist and there were no evidence to prove that cases of extrajudicial killings under the Duterte administration were state sponsored.

He accused Lascañas of being paid to change his statements and make a public admission.

“Para siyang jukebox kung ano ang hulog iyon ang sasabihin (He’s like a jukebox that sings at the drop of a coin).”

Gordon added that if the retired police wanted to be heard, he should file a criminal complaint at the Ombudsman that can recommend to the Congress an impeachment proceeding against the President.

On the other hand, Sen Grace Poe and Sen. Francis Pangilinan asserted that it is the opportunity of the Senate to test Lascañas credibility.

“We should not stop at condemning the person because he lied. I think we should proceed and find out the truth, and that is precisely the role of the Senate — for check and balance for the other branches of the government,” said Pangilinan.

WATCH: Sen. Leila de Lima asks cabinet members to declare Pres. Rodrigo Duterte unfit to lead the country

Poe suggested that Senate President Koko Pimentel call for the creation of special committee that will head the investigation, but Pimentel saw no reason to do so.

In the end, the Committee on Public Order and Dangerous Drugs headed by Senator Panfilo Lacson will still handle the investigation, while Gordon’s speech was referred to the Committee on Rules.

In a caucus last night, 10 senators composed of the members of the Liberal Party and the minority bloc voted in favor of Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV’s resolution to hear out Lascañas new admissions.

“This is an issue of national importance. Napakalaki ng implication nito, napakalalim (The implication of this is big, deep.) Iyong presidente natin ay may posibilidad na hindi lang plunderer, kundi mass murderer pa (Our president may not only be a plunderer but could also be a mass murderer),” said Trillanes.

Senators Aquilino Pimentel, Richard Gordon, Cynthia Villar, Migz Zubiri, Manny Pacquiao. Gringo Honasan and Sherwin Gatchalian voted against while five senators namely Panfilo Lacson, Tito Sotto, Loren Legarda and Nancy Binay abstained. — Joyce Balancio | UNTV News and Rescue

WATCH: Lascañas’ recantation of earlier statement a shocking development to his neighbors

Palace: Duterte to join 13th Asia-Europe Meeting Summit on Nov. 25-26

Robie de Guzman   •   November 24, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte is set to join the 13th Asia-Europe Meeting Summit (ASEM) scheduled this week, Malacañang said Wednesday.

The summit will be held on November 25 to 26 via video conference, which would be hosted by Cambodia.

The Palace said Duterte is expected to exchange views on multilateralism, growth and sustainable development during the meeting.

He is also scheduled to speak on rebuilding a resilient future, as well as on international and regional issues at the Second Plenary and Retreat Sessions of the Summit on November 26, it added.

This year’s summit has its theme, “Strengthening Multilateralism for Shared Growth”.

ASEM, an informal dialogue process involving 53 partners from Europe, Asia, the European Union and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Secretariat, aims to strengthen cooperation between the two regions in the spirit of mutual respect and equal partnership.

The Philippines joined ASEM in 1996 as one of its founding members.


Philippines yet to receive formal request from ICC for proof of probe into drug war deaths – Palace

Robie de Guzman   •   November 24, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines has yet to receive a formal request from the International Criminal Court (ICC) to provide concrete information that it is conducting investigations into allegations involving the government’s campaign against illegal drugs, Malacañang said Wednesday.

Acting Presidential Spokesperson Karlo Nograles issued the statement following reports that ICC Prosecutor Khan will ask the Philippine government to provide substantiating information regarding its probe into allegations of crime committed under its war against drugs.

“We would like to clarify that we have yet to receive a formal request with regard to this matter. That being said, we reiterate our position that the ICC has no jurisdiction to probe our campaign against illegal drugs,” Nograles said.

“Clearly, the ICC prosecutor’s request for information is an acknowledgment that alleged victims can seek redress in Philippine legal institutions because these are independent, impartial, and competent,” he added.

Moreover, Nograles said that the ICC prosecutor’s statement “validates our earlier position that the ICC is the court of last resort, one that can be utilized when a State Party is unwilling to investigate and prosecute those who violate its laws.”

“This is simply not the case in the Philippines. Our criminal justice system continues to be capable and functional, and a case in point is the signing of the Philippine National Police and the National Bureau of Investigation of an agreement to conduct cooperative investigations,” he said.

Nograles stressed that this serves as “evidence that a culture of impunity does not exist in our country as local institutions have demonstrated their commitment to accountability.”

Khan, in a statement posted on Tuesday, said the Duterte administration must submit concrete proof that its is investigating allegations involving its war on drugs after the ICC deferred its probe upon the request of the Philippine government.

The ICC deferred the probe after the government said that investigations on reported deaths during anti-drug operations are underway.

“Such information must consist of tangible evidence, of probative value and a sufficient degree of specificity, demonstrating that concrete and progressive investigative steps have been or are currently being undertaken,” the statement read.

Philippine Ambassador to the Netherlands Eduardo Malaya wrote Khan that the country’s Department of Justice (DOJ) has already referred to the National Bureau of Investigation the 52 cases it reviewed, where administrative liability was found on the part of concerned law enforcers.

Members of the National Union of People’s Lawyers and the Free Legal Assistance Group have called on the ICC to resume its probe, saying the DOJ is only looking at several cases out of tens of thousands of killings allegedly linked to the drug war.

Sara Duterte takes drug test

Robie de Guzman   •   November 24, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte on Wednesday said she underwent a drug test and her results yielded negative for narcotics.

In a statement, the vice presidential bet said she took the test upon the request of her running mate, Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.

“Today, I took a drug test that yielded negative of any illegal substances. This test, I took voluntarily upon the request of my Uniteam partner, Senator Bongbong Marcos, to support the call for transparency as aspiring public officials seeking the trust of our fellow Filipinos,” she said.

Sara shared the results of her drug test, which showed that she was negative for several illegal substances.

On Tuesday, Marcos announced that he took a cocaine test and submitted the result to law enforcement agencies.

This was after President Rodrigo Duterte’s claim that a presidential aspirant is using cocaine.

Duterte did not give any name.

“Uniteam BBM-Sara’s stand against illegal drugs is united and unequivocal. This can be seen from both our negative tests as well as our common stance against the proliferation of illegal drugs and the need for effective measures of prevention, rehabilitation, and enforcement,” Mayor Sara said.

She also stressed “as important as the war against illegal drugs is, other compelling issues continue to challenge our country’s ability to provide long-term safety and security for our people.”

“Therefore, it is crucial in this electoral season that we focus on the substantial qualifications of those that seek to lead our country,” she said.

“Particularly, that we examine our presidential and vice presidential candidates under the lens of competence and experience – an infallible ability to manage crisis through policy and practice built up through years of executive, legislative, and administrative exposure; a proven track record of delivering security and development; and a clear and tested platform for job security and sustainable livelihood,” she added.


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