Recto: Be wary of whistleblowers
MANILA, Philippines—Senate Minority Leader Ralph Recto on Friday cautioned the public against revelations of whistleblowers, saying those they accuse of wrongdoing must remain innocent in the eyes of the public unless proven guilty.
This amid the continuing swapping of allegations between the Duterte administration and Sen. Leila de Lima, who have been on the war path since the lawmaker initiated her investigation into the spate of alleged extrajudicial killings as the President pursued his bloody campaign against drug pushers and users.
Duterte and his allies have, on the other hand, accused De Lima of coddling drug lords during her stint as justice secretary, triggering a Senate ethics investigation and an inquiry in the House of Representatives.
“My advice to the public is not to immediately believe in testimonies of whistleblowers. He or she must prove his allegations first,” Recto said when sought for comment.
“That goes for both those accusing the President and Sen. De Lima. Both are innocent until proven otherwise,” he told the Inquirer.
On Thursday, De Lima presented before the Senate confessed hitman Edgar Matobato, who gave an unprecedented testimony tagging the President in murders through the notorious Davao Death Squad when he was Davao City mayor.
Matobato said it was Duterte who finished off a National Bureau of Investigation agent with an Uzi in 2007, ordered the killing of radio broadcaster Juan Pala Jr. in 2003 and ordered bomb attacks on three mosques in his city in 1993, to avenge the bombing at a cathedral.
The Department of Justice meanwhile bared on Thursday that it would present convicted robber and drug dealer Herbert Colangco against De Lima at the House of Representatives hearing on Sept. 20, where it would look into De Lima’s alleged involvement in drug operations at the national penitentiary. RAM/rga
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