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Trillanes bid to reopen DDS probe referred to Sotto panel

Senator Antonio Trillanes IV (left) with Senators Grace Poe and Panfilo Lacson at the hearing on the Davao Death Squad. (photo by Avito Dalan, PNA)
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MANILA, Philippines -- Senator Antonio Trillanes IV tried to convince his colleagues on Wednesday to reopen the inquiry into the existence of the Davao Death Squad, noting that the testimony of retired police officer Arthur Lascanas has not been disputed.

But Senator Panfilo Lacson, chairman of the committee on public order and dangerous drugs, who terminated the inquiry after only one hearing on Monday, referred the matter to the rules committee chaired by Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III.

It was Sotto who moved to adjourn the proceedings, thus ending the inquiry.

In a privilege speech, Trillanes noted: “As far as the Senate is concerned, on record, (Lascanas’ testimony is) unrefuted kasi wala naman testigo na humarap sa komite na nagsabi hindi ito totoo (because no witness came before the committee to say it is not true).”

He noted that even the police confirmed that Jerry Concio, who Lascanas linked to the murder of broadcaster Jun Pala, was indeed a person of interest in the case.   

Trillanes also disputed claims Lascanas’ testimony was not backed by documentation, citing sworn statements submitted to courts. He also showed affidavits and photographs pertaining to killings supposedly committed by the DDS.  

Kaya kung mahihinto ang hearing ngayon, lahat nang iyan ay nasa record ng Senado at hindi po ito dinebate o tinutulan ng counter-evidence (So if the hearings are stopped now, all of that (testimony) is in the Senate records and never debated or refuted by counter-evidence),” he added.