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Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Senate’s integrity more important than what Lascanas would say on Duterte, DDS – Gordon

Senator Richard Gordon on Sunday (Feb. 26) said he would continue to block retired SPO3 Arthur Lascanas from testifying in the Senate.
Gordon, in a statement, said the integrity and dignity of the Senate, stands to suffer if Lascanas, ‎considered as one of the “most powerful policemen in Davao City” and President Rodrigo Duterte’s right hand man, would ‎recant his earlier testimony without any penalty.
“He lied to all of us. And to come down now and say, ‘Pretty please second chance.’ No! You already stained the dignity of the Senate by lying and we do not want that dignity, that respect that must be accorded this Body, to all the 24 constituting the Senate of the Republic of the Philippines, be stained,” he said.
Lascanas had previously testified that ha had no knowledge of Davao Death Squad and that it was just “media hype.” Last week, Lascanas made a U-turn by confirming the existence of the DDS and claiming that he himself undertook the killing ordered by Duterte.
Gordon stressed that no one should be allowed to trifle with the Senate as it would set a bad precedent in all investigations conducted by the the upper chamber committees.
The chair of the Senate committee on justice and human rights further lamented that it would be to the public’s detriment if the committees would accept damaged witnesses whose testimonies would be dubious.
“Ang Senado, madaling magsinungaling diyan, papatawarin ka. Magpre-press conference pa doon sa Senado mismo. Ano ang mangyayari sa imbestigasyon natin? Ano ang mangyayari sa mga tao na pumupunta rito para humanap ng katarungan?” he said.
Incidentally, a similar case in the past showed how the senator have given so much weight on a recantation of a witness during his re-investigation on the so-called fertilizer fund scam committed several years ago.
Gordon said the recantation of Feshan Phils. President Julie Gregorio, whose company was the largest supplier of fertilizer for P728-million fertilizer fund scam allegedly engineered by former agriculture undersecretary Jocelyn Bolante, showed that a huge chunk of the funds purportedly intended for the Department of Agriculture’s (DA’s) Farm Input- Farm Implement (FIFI) project ended up in some individuals’ pockets.
“Ang recantation malinaw. Admission against interest practically yun dahil ang sinasabi niya nangyari ito dahil napilitan siya kasi gusto nyang ipagbili yung stock ng Feshan at nabigyan siya ng pagkakataon,” he said.

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