While President Rodrigo Duterte’s critics buzz about finding an “incriminating evidence” against him for “admitting” that he authored extrajudicial killings, Senator Richard Gordon thinks the supposed admission isn’t enough to make a case.
In an interview on Super RadyodzBB on Sunday, Gordon said that Duterte’s “admission” last Thursday that he can only be faulted for extrajudicial killings (EJKs) under the campaign against illegal drugs, can be used as evidence.
But, the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee chairman clarified that the “admission” can only stand as evidence if accompanied with proof.
“Puwedemaging evidence kung magkakaroon ng other proof. For instance, sinoangpinapatayniya, kailan, paanopinapatay? (It could be an evidence if there’s other proof. For instance, who did he kill, when, how?),” Senator Gordon said.
In an earlier interview on dzBB, former dean of the Ateneo School of Law Antonio La Viñasaid, “When you admit na may nangyaring (that there are) extrajudicial killings because of you, of course that’s culpable violation of the Constitution.”
La Viña was referring to Duterte’s statement in his speech in Malacañang last week: “Anokasalananko? Nagnakawbaakodyannipiso? Did I prosecute somebody napinakulongko? Angkasalanankolang’yungmga extrajudicial killing. (What’s my sin? Did I steal even one peso? Did I prosecute somebody that I sent to prison? My only sin were those extrajudicial killings.)”
Duterte’s critics claim they have found an incriminating evidence against him that is impeachable and could boost a pending complaint before the International Criminal Court (ICC).
According to La Viña, “Clear naman. Hindi namansiya [Duterte] nagbibiro when he said that. The demeanor is very clear. Kasinanggalingsa mouth ng Presidente. Hindi monakailangani-prove pa. Angtawagdiyan, admission against interest. ‘Yan ang highest and strongest evidence. (That was clear. He was not joking when he said that. Because it came out from the President’s mouth. You don’t need to prove it. That’s what you call admission against interest.) Because nobody confesses unless they mean it.”
But Gordon said, “No person can be a witness against himself. And knowing the President’s atrocious statement in the past, like, ‘I will kill you’ hindinamansiguroyanangibigsabihin (maybe that’s not what he meant.)”
“Dahilsa language niya … mahirapmaintindihan, kahitako kina-clarify ko pa yungmgasinasabiniyasa akin,” said Gordon, adding, “Angibigsabihinlangnamansiguroniya ay hindisiya ma-accuse ng corruption at iba pa; ang tanging ina-accuse sakaniya ay ang EJKs. (Because of the language he uses… it’s hard to understand, even me, I clarify what he tells me, Gordon said, adding, I think what he meant was that he cannot be accused of corruption and more; the only thing we can accuse him of is EJKs.)”
On the other hand, the National Union of People’s Lawyers on Saturday said it will file a supplemental pleading to boost its complaint against Duterte before the ICC for alleged crimes against humanity after he made the “admission.”
Meanwhile, Malacañang was unmoved by La Viña’s statement. “No basis. [The President’s] statement was that his critics accuse him only of EJK and not corruption,” Presidential spokesman Harry Roque told GMA News Online in a text message.
“Anyway, La Viña can go ahead. Nothing will happen to his complaint,” he added. —LBG, GMA News