Senator Francis Pangilinan on Thursday scored President Rodrigo Duterte after the latter said he would not allow the cops tagged in the killing of Albuera Mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr. to go to jail.
In an interview with ANC's Headstart, Pangilinan said it is scary that Duterte had effectively dismissed the criminal justice process by saying that although the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) charged P/Supt. Marvin Marcos and members of the PNP Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) in Region 8 for the "rubout" where Espinosa was killed, they may not be jailed.
"Nakakatakot. Sabi ng ating Pangulo na kahit na may NBI findings, hindi sila makukulong. Dapat hayaan niya. May proseso tayo eh," he said.
(It's scary. Our president said, despite the NBI findings, they will not be jailed. He should have left it alone. We have the processes.)
"Mahirap naman na 'wala nang proseso, basta sinabi ko.' Paano na 'yun? Nakakatakot 'yun dahil saan na tayo papanig dito? Sinabi ng NBI murder pero hindi pwedeng makulong saka walang makukulong."
(It would be difficult when we proceed like 'there is no more process, just follow what I say.' How would that be? That is scary because we would not know who to side with. NBI said it is murder, but they may not be jailed.)
"Mahirap ho yun. We have to go through our processes because this is not the rule of one man, this is the rule of law," he said.
(That would be difficult. We have to go through our processes because this is not the rule of one man, this is the rule of law.)
Pangilinan also recalled that it was Duterte himself who told the cops to shoot criminals who fight back. "He said also na 'utos ko 'yan na 'pag nanlaban, patayin,' di ba? Self-defense, 'di ba?"
He is hopeful that after recent developments, the Senate investigation into the spate of killings left on the heels of Duterte's drug war will be opened once again.
"Right now, I think sana, dahil sa mga developments na ito, let's have the committee on justice re-open or at least incorporate the other findings kasi hindi pa naman terminated yung hearing ni Senator Lacson," he said.
He lamented, the probe was "prematurely terminated" because it was only at the tail-end that Espinosa's killing was brought up. He said, the six sessions held could not have been sufficient to arrive at a conclusion whether or not the killings were state-sponsored.
Nevertheless, he pointed out, the killings have happened and the state has failed in that respect.
"At the minimum, and this is also the responsibility of the state that these are not happening, itong mga vigilante killings. In that sense, the state failed to prevent it from happening," he added.