Recommendations Arising From Committee Investigations Were Based On Painstakingly-Gathered Evidence - Gordon
Senator Richard J. Gordon has assured that the recommendations arising from the Senate investigations on various issues were based on pieces of evidence that the committees painstakingly gathered during the investigations.
Gordon said charges have been filed against various officials found, during the said investigations, to have committed offenses. He also stressed that the investigations also generated proposed new legislations and amendments to existing laws.
"When I took over the investigation on the spate of killings, we focused on the solutions that would address these killings, which have remained unresolved through the years. We recognized that there is an urgent need to undertake reforms in law enforcement and strengthen the criminal justice system to fortify the rule of law. Thus, I filed the following measures all meant to address the killings and stop impunity: Motorcycle Crime Prevention Act of 2016 (SBN-1128); Police Court Act of 2017 (SBN-1274); Strengthening the Internal Affairs Service of the Philippine National Police Act of 2016 (SBN-1275); Strengthening the People's Law Enforcement Board Act of 2017 (SBN-1374); and later, the Body Camera and Dashboard Camera for Law Enforcement Officers Act of 2017 (SBN-1563)," the senator said.
"It also found that there is no proof that there is a state-sponsored policy to commit killings to eradicate illegal drugs in the country. The Senate, although not a court of law, bases its findings on evidence painstakingly gathered during hearings. The findings cannot be based on mere hearsay, much less on testimonies from witnesses who are not credible and are inconsistent in what they say," he added.
On the investigation on the smuggling of P6.4- Billion worth of shabu, Gordon pointed out that there was no sufficient evidence to link Paolo Duterte to the illegal smuggling of drugs, apart from bare allegations. Even the Office of the Ombudsman cleared Duterte and his brother-in-law, Mans Carpio in the smuggling try. Moreover, even with a paucity of evidence, the Committee even recommended that the National Bureau of Investigation conduct a lifestyle check on Duterte and Carpio.
"Several persons involved in the smuggling of drugs are now detained and undergoing trial as a result of the issue being brought into the fore by the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee. The Blue Ribbon Committee had no investigative capacity by itself to locate Tita Nani, but it did direct the National Bureau of Investigation and the Bureau of Customs to look for Tita Nani. Unfortunately, even they could not find the identity of, or locate, Tita Nani. Several persons alleged to be Tita Nani were called to testify in the Senate, but none of those summoned was Tita Nani according to Mark Taguba," he added.
As further confirmation that there was no whitewash, the chairman of the Blue Ribbon Committee pointed out that former Customs Commissioner Nicanor Faeldon was even detained for half a year in the Senate and in the Pasay City Jail after he was cited for contempt for refusing to answer questions directed at him. He was also found to have committed gross negligence in failing to prevent the entry of the said of shabu shipment from China. Criminal charges for violations of the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act and the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act were recommended slapped against him.
"Unfortunately, the Senate has no control on the DOJ's dismissal of the charges against him, nor over his reappointment to another position in government. We left no stones unturned and conducted fair investigations, made findings on where evidence was presented," Gordon said, He also noted that the committee reprimanded former Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre for being less than prudent in meeting with Wenceslao Sombero and Lam and for lacking sufficient foresight not to deal privately with people who have pending cases with the DOJ. The committee also found that Aguirre and the DOJ was remiss in their legal mandate in that they failed to monitor the influx of illegal aliens into the country.