Senator Leila de Lima thought she had an ace in Edgar Matobato when she had the self-proclaimed assassin and former member of the dreaded Davao Death Squad (DDS) testifying in her former Justice committee investigating the alleged extra-judicial killings in the Duterte administration’s current war on drugs.
De Lima may have successfully restrained her euphoric emotions from being noticed by the public but deep inside her she surely was head over heels at what she was hearing when Matobato directly implicated President Rodrigo Duterte and to some extent his son Paolo, now vice mayor of Davao City, over the gruesome killings said to have been perpetrated by the DDS, most of which were allegedly ordered by former Davao City mayor and now President Duterte.
But it was very obvious, however, that the Senate inquiry, then chaired by de Lima, made an oblique turn by allowing Matobato to narrate his horrid and beastly experiences while a member of the DDS simply with the sinister purpose of putting the President Duterte in bad light.
What was disgusting about the whole proceedings was not that Sen. Antonio Trillanes showed his rotten ass-hole character against Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano, but it was the senseless, idiotic and vengeful attitude of de Lima, as chair of the committee, to allow Matobato to proceed with his horrific tale knowing that in the process de Lima was no longer looking for flaws in aid of legislation but rather relishing at the verbal barbs directed personally at Duterte mainly for her self-satisfaction and political realization.
Apparently this gaffe did not pass unnoticed by most senators supporting Duterte and they were all saying that Matobato’s heinous DDS tale was a separate subject not covered by the resolution authorizing the inquiry, which was looking into alleged extra-judicial killings in the current war on drugs.
Thus, the result was that after the Senate next convened, Sen. Cayetano delivered a privilege speech denouncing how the Senate Justice committee had been used, not for an inquiry in aid of legislation but for an apparent “demolition job” on the President.
It was bad enough that Sen. Manny Pacquiao, a lesser star of a senator, removed a much heralded senator in de Lima from the chairmanship of the powerful Justice committee after the former moved to declare the chairmanship and the memberships vacant, but what is even worse is that Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre is preparing 12 high-profile inmates/drug lords from New Bilibid Prison (NBP) and other penal colonies to testify against de Lima in a hearing at the House of Representatives, which is scheduled to investigate the proliferation of illegal drugs at NBP and how money was collected to allegedly bankroll de Lima’s senatorial run.
De Lima should have handled her boomerang intelligently and expertly. Now it is coming back hard at her.