- Senator said he will continue colleague’s probe on spate of alleged EJKs
- However, he vowed to be more objective with the investigation
- He also said he disagrees with the way De Lima conducted the probe
MANILA, Philippines – Newly-minted Senate justice committee chairman Sen. Richard “Dick” Gordon said he will continue erstwhile head Sen. Leila de Lima’s probe on the spate of alleged extrajudicial killings connected with the government’s campaign against drugs but vowed to be more objective on the matter.
“I’d like to bring to this committee an objective investigation of whatever is brought to the plate or whatever laws we have to sponsor or meetings we have to go to,” GMA News quoted him as saying.
In promising to be fair, Gordon said he didn’t agree with the way De Lima conducted the inquiry — including the presentation of alleged Davao Death Squad (DDS) member Edgar Matobato without informing the other senators.
“Certainly, it might have put, perhaps arguably the Senate, in a difficult position because the issues before the committee on justice was getting the headlines. Rightly or wrongly, it was unfair to the Senate,” he said. “It doesn’t serve us well when suddenly, witnesses are produced and the co-chair of the investigation, Senator (Panfilo) Lacson, is not aware of it.”
Sen. Vicente “Tito” Sotto III reiterated Gordon’s position.
“For the record, earlier when we were discussing this with Senator Gordon, we had assurances that the investigations of the Senate Committee on Justice on extrajudicial killings will continue,” he said.
De Lima was earlier ousted from her chairmanship of the Senate justice committee by the majority of the senators who voted in favor of Sen. Manny Pacquiao’s motion.
Gordon, meanwhile, will be assisted by Lacson as his vice chairman.