February 23, 2017
Cayetano urges Committee on Rules to study referral of Lascañas probe
Senator Alan Peter Cayetano asserts that the Committee on Rules needs to further study the proposed reopening of the investigations on the Davao Death Squad to look into the new statements of retired policeman Arthur Lascañas.
During the plenary deliberations, the Senator manifested that the proper procedure is to give it back to the Committee on Justice and Human Rights since it handled the original investigation.
Cayetano stressed this, noting that the substance and topic of the investigation are the same. Senator Panfilo Lacson agreed with the observation of Cayetano.
"I'm not making a decision now but throwing it to the Committee," Cayetano said.
"What I meant is that it seems obvious to me and I thought it was obvious to everyone that it's the same. But we have to defer to each other and decide collectively... Let's give it to the Committee on Rules to decide," he added.
Cayetano cited that the accusations of Lascañas involve the alleged existence of the DDS, an issue that was already probed by the Justice Committee.
Cayetano backed Justice Committee Chair Sen. Richard Gordon's refusal to reopen investigations into the testimonies of Lascañas.
Gordon delivered a privilege speech questioning why the Senate should still give the witness a second chance when he already testified under oath during the previous hearing but is now retracting his statements.
Cayetano lamented that the current situation is an insult to the committee system of the Senate, a disregard of the Rules of the Senate, and a disrespect to the institution's current tradition.
"Alam natin na kapag sinabing reopen, ang committee na may original jurisdiction, 'yun ang magre-reopen. That has been the Senate tradition. Never nating ginagawa sa Senado na alisin ang jurisdiction sa committee. And never natin pinagbobotohan 'yun. Do we have to throw the rule book to the wastebasket?" Cayetano noted.
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