SENATOR Antonio Trillanes IV expressed disappointment over the rejection of Senate President Koko Pimentel III to place confessed member of Davao Death Squad (DDS) Edgar Matobato under the protection and custody of the Senate.
Trillanes even said Pimentel does not have the power to overrule a ruling by any Senate committee.
“But even setting aside whatever legal technicality he used, it was heartless and reeks of political manuevering to cover for President Duterte,” said Trillanes in a statement.
But still, the senator said there were good samaritans who were willing to provide temporary sanctuary for Matobato.
For his part, Pimentel explained his decision as he stressed that he intends to run the Senate based on rules.
“I’ve denied the request for protective custody of the witness Edgar Matobato because there is no Senate rule to justify it. There’s even no showing that his life or safety is threatened. Worse, the witness’ testimony is not even relevant to the resolution being investigated,” said Pimentel.
On the other hand, Sen. Leila de Luma said that she was perplexed, disturbed and extremely disappointed with the Senate President’s refusal to grant protective custody to Matobato.
“The grant of protective custody to witnesses may not be in the Rules, but this is a long-standing practice, probably in any legislative body in the world, because it is an ancillary and inherent power of the legislature to support its mandate of conducting inquiries in aid of legislation,” De Lima said.