Senator Leila de Lima on Friday criticized her colleague, Senator Richard Gordon, for treating with kid gloves and “openly” lawyering for presidential son, Davao City Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte, and presidential son-in-law, Atty. Manases Carpio, during their appearance in his blue ribbon committee Thusday.
“I guess it is only to be expected when in the presence of the ‘The Prince That Was Promised’,” she said in a statement.
Based on what she heard and saw during the Senate hearing, de Lima said it was obvious that Gordon made sure Senator Antonio Trillanes IV would not step out of bounds in grilling Duterte and Carpio.
She noted that whenever Duterte or Carpio were being backed into a corner by Trillanes, Gordon was quick to admonish Trillanes with his mantra: “everybody has rights here.”
“Yes Sen. Gordon, everybody has rights. Not just ‘here’ in the Senate but even in the streets. Right? Apparently, not. While rights exist and are important if you are the son and son-in-law of the President, it appears that it is not necessarily so if you’re a tokhang or EJK (extrajudicial killing) victim,” she said.
“If you happen to be the latter, then the current justice and human rights committee chair is there to tell you that you don’t exist or you’re a false statistic. There can be no EJK victims if there are no EJKs, right?” De Lima, obviously addressing he statement to Gordon, said.
Gordon took over as justice and human rights committee after de Lima was ousted for insisting on digging up Presidenti Rodrigo Duterte’s alleged ties to the Davao Death Squad.
De Lima was reacting to the statements made by Gordon during the hearing, in between Trillanes’ interrogation on the presidential son’s now controversial tattoo which would allegedly prove his membership with a drug triad.
Paolo repeatedly invoked his right to privacy and Gordon “respectfully requested” Trillanes to “not make allegations without basis because (a drug) triad (issue) is a very serious accusation.
“We should not abuse any of the witnesses here,” said Gordon.
“The chair would like to counsel everyone here to be very careful because everybody has rights here and the chair intends to make sure that respect those rights,” Gordon added.