This was how Sen. Panfilo “Ping” Lacson described the upper chamber’s findings that the unabated extrajudicial killings (EJKs) of suspected drug dealers and drug users were “not State-sponsored.”
He “regretted” that some witnesses were not allowed to substantiate their claim that there were several policemen who were involved in the summary execution of drug suspects.
Gordon, chairman of the Senate Committee on Public Order and Dangerous Drugs, who led the probe on the continued EJKs released on Wednesday night Committee Report No. 18 on the investigation into the unabated EJKs of alleged drug traffickers and drug users.
Gordon had concluded in his 100-page report that there was no evidence to prove that the EJKs were State-sponsored. But he said that the Duterte administration’s “Oplan Tokhang” violates the human rights of alleged drug dealers and drug users.
Asked to comment on CRN 18, Lacson, in a television interview, said: “Hindi naman ‘yan conclusive na hindi State-sponsored kundi so far walang ebidensyang maipakita na State-sponsored ang nangyayaring pagpatay.”
“Kasi wala namang naipakita sa dumalo sa pagdinig. Nanghihinayang ako dahil sa isang pagdinig, I think it was the last or second to the last hearing na sinagawa, na si Sen. (Richard) Gordon nag-preside, naroon ang mga testigo na dapat i-presenta ng CHR (Commission on Human Rights),” he said.
“Medyo kinakalabit ko siya, payagan na natin mag-testify ang mga ‘yan para makuha ang ite-testify nila. Pero napakainit ng ulo niya noon at parang may press release ang isang (CHR) commissioner tinutuligsa siya nang personal,” said Lacson, head of the Senate Committee on Public Order and Dangerous Drugs, who co-chaired the EJK probe.
He said that Gordon stood his ground and never allowed the witnesses who were already in the holding room waiting for their turn to testify. “Iyan lang isang aspeto na hindi ako nakasang-ayon. Kasi araw-araw halos tuwing may pagdinig naroon ‘yan eh,” he said.
“Ang naka-testify lang ang sa Pasay and Antipolo. There were three to four other witnesses or groups of witnesses na p’wede pa mag-testify (on EJK) na ‘di na narinig ng committee,” he said.
“Papakinggan sana ng committee (pero) ‘di na nagkaroon ng pagkakataon. So sa aspetong ‘yan siguro may pagkukulang. For all we know, naroon sa testimony nila o kung anong ipapakitang ebidensya, baka roon magkakaroon ng ebidensyang magpapakitang State-sponsored,” said Lacson.
He added: “Kaya sa findings, sa resolution na pine-prepare ko sa committee report, sinabing walang ebidensyang nakita ang committee na State-sponsored ang mga killings.”
“Anyway pag na-report out formally ni Sen .Gordon ang committee report sa floor, ito (ay) mahihimay pa sa pamamagitan ng interpellation. Kasi maraming tiyak mag-interpellate niyan,” he said.