THE family of slain hotelier Richard King has condemned the use of the businessman’s death in the Senate investigation into extrajudicial killings, Kabayan party-list Rep. Harry L. Roque said yesterday.
Roque, who used to be counsel for King, said the family “is appalled by the gall of Senator Leila de Lima in dragging the death of the Crown Regency owner in her attempt to smear the name of President Rodrigo ‘Rody’ Duterte.”
“The family of Richard King has already undergone enough trauma with his death. They are now being subjected to undue emotional distress because of the vain desire of Senator de Lima to discredit the President,” Roque added.
Roque also said the King family is strongly denying the love triangle angle being peddled by De Lima’s witness, confessed Davao Death Squad member Edgar Matobato.
“Police Supt. Leonardo Felonia was charged for King’s murder. Not once was the name of Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte ever mentioned in the course of the investigation,” Roque said.
“The story that seems to be the most popular is that a businesswoman paid 20 million to have Richard King killed. She contacted Felonia to look for killers,” he added.
Roque said as a lawyer, he noted Matobato had “major inconsistencies” in his testimony, including saying he was at the Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Task Force (PAOCTF) headquarters in 2003 when the task force was actually abolished in 2001.
“This was Senator de Lima’s defense strategy: stage an offense knowing that the truth on her drug dealings will soon be revealed at the House of Representatives next week,” Roque added.
Moreover, the neophyte lawmaker warned about the possible plot of the United States to unseat Duterte.
“The Senate testimony came immediately after the President confirmed he wanted to pursue an independent foreign policy. It is too much of a coincidence that the testimony intended to pave the way for his ouster came immediately after President Duterte declared his independent stance,” Roque said.
“Remember that US Ambassador Goldberg was kicked out of Bolivia for stirring a coup,” he added.