DOJ chief dubious of witness presented by De Lima

DOJ chief dubious of witness presented by De Lima
Photo by Efigenio Toledo IV
Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II remained dubious yesterday on the testimony given by the witness presented by Senator Leima De Lima. The witness, self-confessed ex-DDS member Edgar Matobato, linked President Duterte to the killings in Davao City during his term as the city mayor.

Aguirre insisted that Matobato’s testimony was fabricated and an old story that was revived by Sen. Leila de Lima as an effort to divert public attention from her. The senator has recently been under fire after being linked to the illegal drug trade in the New Bilibid Prison.

“The statements of Matobato are all lies, fabrications, and have no credibility simply because there is no corroborating evidence. This is what we call lying and coached witness,” Aguirre said. “It can only be the product of a fertile and coached imagination.”

Aguirre disclosed that Matobato was once under the witness protection program from 2013 until De Lima pursued a career in the senate. “If you can recall, De Lima repeatedly said that they had a witness to directly link Duterte to the death squad. But why was he not made public and why was the case not pursued? Because obviously there’s no truth to his claims.”

He also expressed that De Lima’s move is suspicious because she herself is facing investigation. “Is it because she knows there will be explosive evidence linking her in the Bilibid drug trade? Is she trying to cushion our witnesses? These are desperate times for De Lima that’s why she needs desperate solution.”

Aguirre also said that the allegations thrown to Duterte is an old issue that has been persistently pursued by De Lima even back in her days as the Commission of Human Rights chair. According to him, he would also consider tapping the National Bureau of Investigation to investigate Matobato’s statements before the Senate inquiry, and if he could again be under the WPP.

“Mr. Matobato stated that he did not execute an affidavit containing what he stated before the hearing. Once cannot be part of the WWP without executing an affidavit. He is obviously not telling the truth. Can he be trusted again?” Aguirre questioned. 

Furthermore, he reasoned that De Lima, leading both the CHR and the DOJ before, has more than six years to file any case but she didn’t file any against Mayor Duterte. ASCS

Source: Philstar