Trillanes: Raps vs Lascañas a form of legal harassment
Senator Antonio Trillanes IV cried foul on Monday over the filing of murder charges against retired Davao police officer Arturo Lascañas, calling it a “clear case of legal harassment” and “abuse of authority” by the Duterte administration.
Lascañas, a confessed member of the so-called Davao Death Squad (DDS), has been charged with murder and frustrated murder in connection with a series of attacks on broadcaster Juan Porras Pala, who was gunned down in 2003.
“This is a clear case of legal harassment and abuse of authority by the Duterte administration, meant to silence Lascañas and prevent him from testifying against Duterte in any legal forum,” Trillanes, an opposition member, said in a statement.
The senator noted that when Lascañas testified in the Senate linking President Rodrigo Duterte to the death squad, the President’s allies were quick to dismiss the former policeman’s testimony and concluded that he was not a credible witness.
“And now, the Davao City prosecutor’s office is filing charges against him based on that same testimony,” Trillanes said.
“Worse, the people behind this did not even allow the case to go through due process by not letting Lascañas submit his counter affidavit allegedly because of returned subpoenas,” he said, noting that Lascañas was widely reported to have left the country since April this year.
If the Davao City prosecutor’s office was also relying on Lascañas’ testimony in the Senate about Pala’s killing, then, they must know also that it was not the retired cop who murdered the broadcaster, the senator said.
“According to his testimony, Lascañas was only part of those who planned the assassination of Jun Pala. In which case, his co-conspirators, particularly, Rodrigo Duterte, Sonny Buenaventura and Jim Tan should’ve been charged as well,” Trillanes pointed out.
The three separate cases against Lascañas were filed in court by the Davao City prosecutor’s office based on the complaint of the broadcaster’s wife, Louise Aguirre Pala. JPV/rga
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.