Senate President Koko Pimentel said Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV should not be surprised why the Senate could not provide protective custody to self-confessed Davao Death Squad hitman Edgar Matobato.
“Dapat nga na predict na nga nila na hindi ipapasailalim sa protective custody si Matobato. Siguro di nila alam na wala namang witness protection program ang Senado. Kung magbibigay ka ng protection sa witness, special case na yun, special treatment,” said Pimentel in an interview with Nimfa Ravelo of DZBB.
Pimentel said Matobato should apply under the witness protection program of the Department of Justice, Commission on Human Rights, and Office of the Ombudsman.
“Ano na yun, gagawa na on the spot witness protection program para sa isang tao o testigo na hindi naman mahalaga sa mata ng Senado. Kung mahalaga ang testimonya niya sa ibang kaso, lumapit siya doon sa tamang ahensiya ng gobyerno lalo na yung may executive functions,” said Pimentel, a political ally of the President.
Pimentel said Matobato’s testimony on the 1,000 DDS killings allegedly ordered by President Rodrigo Duterte from 1998 to 2014 has no relevance to the Senate committee on justice and human rights’ probe on the 3,000 alleged summary killings in the last three months.
“Dapat nga di siya (Trillanes) magulat, kasi fair tayo na tao. Ang gawin lang natin yung tama,” said Pimentel.
Trillanes criticized Pimentel for having double standard on allowing witnesses to speak during Senate hearings. He said Pimentel was lenient, as chair of the Senate Blue Ribbon sub-committee, in allowing witnesses to speak on broad topics in the Binay corruption case but was not supportive of Matobato continuing his testimony in the Senate. [source]
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