Solon downplays Bilibid witnesses’ testimony vs De Lima: They appear to be hearsay

  • Congressman who questioned two witnesses in House hearing downplayed their testimony
  • He said their testimony appears to be hearsay because they’re based on second-hand info
  • DOJ chief denied the claim, said evidence establishes probable cause to sue De Lima

MANILA, Philippines – A solon who took part in the questioning of witnesses during the congressional hearing on the proliferation of drugs at the New Bilibid Prisons (NBP) downplayed their testimonies as hearsay because they appeared to be mere second-hand information.

During his questioning of convicts Hans Anton Tan and Jaime Patcho, Siquijor Rep. Ramon Rocamora noted that the two men were basing their claims on information they received from someone else.

In particular, he grilled Tan who claimed that a certain Jose Adrian Dera was taking millions from fellow convict Peter Co and had introduced himself as De Lima’s bodyguard and nephew.

“It appears from your sworn statement you would like to connect this Dera to Secretary Leila de Lima. In Par. 3, he introduced himself as a nephew and closed-in securtiy of Sec. Leila de Lima. Do you know these statements to be facts?” Rocamora asked Tan who responded that he only got the information from Solicitor General Jose Calida who visited them two months ago.

Patcho, on the other hand, also admitted that he got his information from Jaybee Sebastian who told him he was raising funds supposedly to raise funds for De Lima’s campaign and not from any personal knowledge.

“From your Patcho’s statement, it would appear that the purpose here is simply to show that you were asked through this Jaybee Sebastian to help DOJ Sec. Leila de Lima to come up with money in connection with her intention to run as senator in the 2016 elections,” Rocamora said.

The solon, whose time ran out before he could grill the other witnesses, surmised that the others’ testimony appears to be based on hearsay.

“Actually, I need to ask the other witnesses but basically it is of the same nature that these statements connecting Leila de Lima to these activities, they appear to be hearsay,” GMA News quoted him as saying.