Resumption of Senate EJK probe depends on Gordon

MANILA — It will be up to the chair of the Senate Justice Committee, Sen. Richard Gordon, to call for a resumption on the Senate inquiry into alleged extrajudicial killings, Sen. Panfilo Lacson said Monday.

Lacson made this remark amid calls of some senators to hold a hearing on the testimony of retired SPO3 Arthur Lascañas, who recanted his testimony denying the existence of a so-called vigilante group Davao Death Squad (DDS).

Lascañas claimed that there was indeed a group hired to kill criminals and non-criminals in Davao City.

His new testimony backed the testimony of self-confessed hitman Edgar Matobato who first claimed the existence of the vigilante group.

Lacson, however, said that he did not know if another hearing was likely because it seemed like a continuation on the previous hearings with Matobato.

“With us, as long as there’s a referral we must call for a hearing. If it will be referred, I’ll call for a hearing. The problem is, will it be referred? Because it’s like a continuation on hearings with Matobato,” Lacson said.

The senator agreed with the sentiment of Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian who urged the Department of Justice (DOJ) to file perjury charges against Lascañas for admitting to lying while under oath in a previous Senate hearing last year.

“Ang problem kasi under oath siya nung nag-testify siya dito. If he will again testify under oath, open siya sa perjury. Hindi pwedeng magkaiba statements mo parehong under oath (The problem is, he was under oath when he testified here. If he will again testify under oath, he is open to perjury. You can’t have two different statements under oath),” he added. Azer Parrocha/