Deserving of the ouster | The Daily Tribune – Without Fear or Favor

Deserving of the ouster | The Daily Tribune – Without Fear or Favor

Cach0-Olivares, N. (2016, September 21). Deserving of the ouster. The Daily Tribune – Without Fear or Favor. Retrieved September 21, 2016 from

Written by Ninez Cacho-Olivares Tuesday, 22 June 2016 00:00

Leila de Lima had it coming to her, even if she insists that Rody Duterte’s fingerprints were all over her ouster as chairman of the Senate justice committee.

The truth is, all senators believe that they are a republic unto themselves, which means not one of them — save for Leila’s allies who were there to make sure that Leila continues with her intent to destroy Rody — liked the idea of their having been ignored by Leila in providing them the name of her surprise witnesses Edgar Matobato, and his background, which is generally needed for them in advance for questioning the witness on his credibility.

Moreover, Leila’s hearing smacked too much of moves to destroy Rody, what with her continued leading questions to the witness, to the point of lawyering for him and coaching the witness what to state in his open testimony.

Admit it or not, she mishandled the hearing, to the frustration of the senators.

Whether the ouster of Leila was planned by the allies of Duterte as being claimed by Leila and her Liberal Party (LP) allies, is something that is best left to the public’s judgment. But it can hardly be denied that there was a caucus held after the session was suspended due after which a voting on the motion of Sen. Manny Pacquiao to declare the justice committee members and chair vacant made.

Not surprisingly, there went Sen. Franklin Drilon objecting to the motion saying this was unprecedented, as Sen. Antonio Trillanes did. As if they never did so many unprecedented moves when they were in the majority and staunch allies of then President Noynoy Aquino.

Trillanes seems to have conveniently forgotten just how he treated the hearings against then Vice President Jojo Binay and his family members whom he, as well as Sen. Alan Cayetano, excoriated the Binays, portraying them as guilty, and even giving out manufactured evidence. And they have the nerve to call this behavior civil?

Leila and the former members of the blue ribbon panel headed by then Sen. TG Guingona transformed the pork scam hearings into a trial by publicity and even conviction by publicity against the three opposition senators. It certainly was not in aid of legislation, since the committee report — if one was even done — was never brought before the plenary. It was in aid of demolition of three opposition senators to destroy their higher ambitions for 2016.

At that time, it was the LP and its allies who were the power in the Senate then.

At that time, the minority bloc was also stopped from even having representatives of the then VP from speaking and from having the affidavit of the VP read. It is on record that Trillanes and Cayetano ordered the lawyers and representatives of Binay thrown out of the session hall. And now they claim that this is not being done, is unprecedented when their behavior should have been denounced then by the then Senate president, Franklin Drilon?

It was already crystal clear, after Sen. Panfilo Lacson and others started questioning Motabato that he was giving false testimony.

It is also just as clear that even as Leila is no longer the justice chairman, who has been replaced by Sen. Dick Gordon, her allies who are also into demolishing Rody, insist on having Matobato recalled and testify some more.

But this time, the new justice chairman is not into making the same mistake as Liela. He says this matter is to be taken up by the committee members.

Perhaps explaining why chaos erupted after Matobato, a surprise witness, was presented by Leila, which surprised the senators — save perhaps for the LP senators and their allies, who have dwindled, give the vote of senators to oust de Lima — thus came the Pacquiao motion to declare all justice committee members vacant.

Besides, as Gordon noted that they were surprised about Matobato’s appearance at the Senate hearing, which they didn’t see the testimony quite in line with the investigation, which was about the recent spate of summary executions, in particular of alleged drug suspects and criminals.

He also pointed out the inconsistencies in Matobato’s statement, as well as the manner on how the hearing was conducted.

On Monday, the Senate voted to oust Leila from the committee chairmanship.

Gordon had promised that the probe on extrajudicial killings will continue under his chairmanship.
Leila and her allies will deny that her probe was not biased, but it was.

Just watching the House probe and Justice Secretary Vitaliano yesterday, one can spot the very difference between Leila’s hearing and her witness, compared to the House probe and Agurire’s witnesses. It was orderly and the witnesses were credible.

The Senate should learn from this probe.

Published on Commentary | The Daily Tribune – Without Fear or Favor

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