Press Release
September 25, 2016


While supporting President Duterte's stand to ensure that the proliferation of illegal drugs is stopped, Senator Richard J. Gordon stressed that there is no need to kill people with impunity which is why he wants to ensure that law enforcement agencies will go by the rules and that the Rule of Law shall always be followed.

During the hearing of the Senate Committee on Justice and Human Rights last Thursday on recent and rampant killings, the first hearing that he conducted after taking over the committee, Gordon said that there is a need to eradicate illegal drugs or a day would come when drug lords and drug pushers would be more heavily armed than law enforcers and cited Mexico and Colombia as examples.

Nevertheless, this cannot be used as an excuse to flout the law and kill people indiscriminately. Hence, Gordon said the hearing would lead to amendments to existing laws or to entirely new legislation.

"Kill drugs, not kill the people. Hindi pwedeng patay ka ng patay ng tao para lang makuha yung mga drug addicts. We do not throw the Rule of Law book out of the window. In getting rid of drugs, we have to go by the Rule of Law. Sir Thomas More, one of the two recognized patron saints of Catholic lawyers, once said, 'Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil?... Oh? And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned 'round on you, where would you hide?' the senator pointed out.

Gordon said that the committee would focus on creating new laws or injecting amendments to correct flaws in existing laws to prevent incidents like convicts being released to kill people in the same way that his father was assassinated by a convict who was allowed to leave to assassinate his father and then was returned to prison, to ensure that policemen will strictly follow the rules of engagement, and ensure that more crime laboratories will be established, and that policemen shall be continuously trained, among others.

"The resolution covers the recent and rampant killings in our country. Nakatuon tayo doon para makagawa tayo ng legislation kung sakaling makitang may kinakapos doon, lalagyan natin ng legislation 'yan. Hindi ito trial na may hinahanap tayong pumatay ng tao o mga mamamatay tao. Maaaring lalabas sa imbestigasyon 'yan. Pero ang tinutukoy nito ay 'yung mga bagong legislation na dapat gawin. This hearing is conducted in aid of legislation," he said.

Gordon also underscored the need to conduct the hearing by the rules, which is why he firmly imposed rules that ensured an orderly hearing. This gained approval from both the senators who attended and the public who watched the proceedings live or on television.

These included asking committee members to stand and use the two lecterns set up when it was their time to question witnesses. This prevented unruly behavior when the proceedings tensed a bit and got out of hand such as what happened in other hearings.

Senator Leila De Lima commented that Gordon was very firm and fair in conducting the hearing and that he was in command and in control of the proceedings. Even netizens had only high praise for the way Gordon conducted the hearing.

"Yan ang Chairman... Fair lang... hindi na one sided at kampi sa Sinungaling na Witness... kung Sabagay!!! Birds with the same feathers? Are the same birds... another Big Salute to You Senator Gordon," a netizen commented.

"What I like about the way Sen. Gordon being the chairman is that he is not biased, instead he is looking at all aspects of the cases no judgment being done during the hearing," another one said.

"Congrats Sir Richard Gordon. Great job as the new chair of Justice and Human rights committee. That is how the chairman should handle the committee hearings. Very organized and very professional," one netizen also remarked.

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