Senator Leila de Lima defended former Davao Death Squad member Edgar Matobato and Senator Dick Gordon bashed her for that.
In an article of ABS-CBN, former justice committee head De Lima lamented that Matobato was being subjected to a court proceeding even if the purpose of the hearing was to find facts.
“We have to remember again -- just to make a point, drive home the point -- this is not a court of law. In cross-examination, the lawyer of the witness can object, but in proceedings before Senate, the lawyer is not allowed to object but simply to advise,” she said.
“Therefore, may nangyayari na may misleading questions that the counsel would not be able to come to his rescue, kung merong mga ganoong questionable questions, because bawal ang lawyer na mag-object on behalf of the witness," she adde
[There are instances wherein misleading questions are being asked and the counsel of the witness is not able to come to his rescue because he is not allowed to raise objections.]
Gordon, the current justice committe, took offense at De Lima’s accusations that some members of the panel were asking questions to the witness that are deemed "misleading"
“I would normally say 'I resent that remark,' but you’re a lady, and I respect you as a lady. There is no attempt on the part of this representation and I believe people seated on this desk here of any attempt to mislead,” Gordon told De Lima.
“Please do not cast any aspersion. We are all lawyers here. I don’t want to lecture any other lawyer here. I don’t want to be lectured either," he added.
Gordon said witnesses such as Matobato who make bold claims, should be prepared to be grilled by lawmakers especially if its unverified.
With De Lima ousted as the head justice committee, senators took turns in quizzing the testimony of Matobato during the De Lima-head hearing last week.