Fiscal who wanted ‘yellows’ killed joins team vs De Lima
Darwin Cañete, the controversial prosecutor who called for the killing of “yellow forces,” is now part of the team of fiscals handling the drug cases of Sen. Leila de Lima in Muntinlupa Regional Trial Court (RTC).
Cañete joined the prosecutors during Friday’s hearing of De Lima and others at Branch 206 of Muntinlupa RTC.
De Lima, one of the most staunch critics of President Rodrigo Duterte, has been under detention at the custodial center of Camp Crame since February 2017 for three drug cases filed against her by state prosecutors.
Assistant Senior State Prosecutor Ramoncito Ocampo told reporters that Cañete was added when Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra was appointed in May, replacing Vitaliano Aguirre II who resigned amid controversies.
‘Someone with guts’
Ocampo, head of the panel of prosecutors, said of Cañete: “Maybe because of his competence in trial. We need competent prosecutors. We need someone with guts.”
In August 2017, Aguirre reassigned Cañete to Mandaluyong amid allegations that he prejudged the case of Grade 11 student Kian de los Santos.
He returned to Caloocan as assistant city prosecutor after six months.
Cañete claimed he had requested to be transferred to Mandaluyong due to threats to his life.
A vocal supporter of the President and his war on drugs, Cañete took to social media and dissed the media’s coverage on the killing of De los Santos, which Caloocan police described as a shootout during an antidrugs operation.
He told the Inquirer the possibility that De los Santos was a “totally innocent boy planted (with) P16,000 worth of drugs” was “too farfetched.”
The Caloocan prosecutor gained notoriety in June last year when encouraged in his social media account the killing of “yellow forces,” pertaining to the Liberal Party, whose members and supporters were critical of the President. —With reports from Joseph Sebastian Javier and Roselie Mari Villaflor
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