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Viral: Lawyer strongly disagrees de Lima’s claim no material concealment on their part

A post offering a strong dissenting opinion with regards to de Lima’s claim that no material concealment on her part is making the rounds online.

Atty. Trixie Cruz-Angeles published a lengthy post on Facebook saying that de Lima’s argument is weak for various reasons which she explained in the post.

The post says that the information on the reliability of a witness and prior inconsistent statements that inform the public on the capacity of the resource person to attest to the situation being investigated is material.

And the repercussion?

It could be a matter for the ethics committee to take up.

Check out the full text of the post below.

Senators Delima and Trillanes say that since Matobato disclosed that a case had been filed in the NBI against him, regarding the Makdum kidnap-slay, there was no material concealment on their part regarding their witness.

This argument fails in light of the following:

Matobato indeed admitted an NBI case filed against him, during his testimony. However, he did not disclose that the case was actually filed in the prosecutor’s office. This is material because if a case is filed there and he participated in the same, there would be records. And in fact there is.

Matobato has a counter affidavit filed in that case.

In the said counter affidavit, he states that military looking men were involved in the kidnapping. He does not mention police officers. And in fact he does not mention the cops who were summoned to the senate. He does not mention the DDS either. This was clarified by Sen. Cayetano.

Sen. Gordon’s “umbrage” therefore was that Senators Delima and Trillanes knew that this witness had previously and under oath effectively denied or declined to name the police officers he had accused in the senate. That they could have, at the earliest instance, when Matobato mentioned the NBI case, disclosed the filing in the prosecutor’s office and provided records of the prior inconsistent statement (I reiterate, made under oath).

Do Senators Trillanes and Delima have the obligation to disclose this? My opinion is that they do. The senate hearing is not a court case. The purpose in providing witnesses or resource persons is to shed light on situations or conditions that may be addressed by legislation. It is not an adversarial proceeding. The more relevant information, the better it is for the Filipino people. And information on the reliability of a witness and prior inconsistent statements that inform us on the capacity of the resource person to attest to the situation being investigated is material.

As Sen. Gordon posits, had Senators Trillanes and Delima disclosed the said case (and consequently the counter affidavit) then the committee would not have wasted more time on Matobato, nor would they have summoned so much of the PNP’s force. The latter is important because rather than working on peace and order, they are in the senate giving testimony.

What is the remedy then? Sen. Gordon himself stated that it could be a matter for the ethics committee to take up.

Please post your comment below.

Source: Atty. Trixie Cruz-Angeles

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