A tale of two investigations

A tale of two investigations.

Sen. Delima brought witness Matobato to the senate to testify on extra judicial killings. She did not ask for immunity for her witness. But she did ask for the senate to take him into protective custody. This was denied. It is also of note that Matobato was assisted by counsel on the first day of his testimony by a lawyer allegedly from the Commission on Human Rights. I say allegedly because no statement from said counsel was ever issued affirming or denying this. At any rate, by yesterday, Matobato was no longer assisted by counsel and was already testifying when Committee Chairman Richard Gordon noticed that some statements were already self-incriminatory, and new counsel was sought.

In the House of Representatives, SOJ Aguirre sought immunity for the resource persons under the law on the Witness Protection Program. No protective custody was sought because most of the resources persons are serving life sentences in prison. As far as can be seen, no special privileges were asked or granted. All resource persons were assisted by counsel.

Immunity for testimony given in legislative bodies is allowed by law and counsels of resource persons usually (if they know this) ask for this prior to testimony.

None of the reports indicate that Sen. Delima asked for immunity for Matobato, whose testimony is based on his admission that he was a killer for hire and that he had committed murder.

I saw a meme saying that the Senate denied protective custody to Matobato but the House granted immunity to the Bilibid convicts. There seemed to be an attempt to claim “bias.” But it is clear that those two issues are not at par with each other since you can only compare things that are essentially the same.

PS. Just to clarify, the immunity granted by the House is for possible criminal (only) prosecution that may result from their self-incriminatory statements. It does not affect the sentences they are already serving. Furthermore, based on the witness testimonies, prior to the events that led to their selling of illicit drugs while incarcerated, they are not imprisoned under the Dangerous Drugs Act. This means they claim that that prior to Bilibid, they did not deal with drugs.

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