Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV said that he would push for the replacement of Sen. Richard Gordon as chairman of the Senate Blue Ribbon committee because of the manner in which he is conducting the inquiries brought before the committee.

Trillanes said that Gordon is to be blamed for the resurgence of so-called extrajudicial killings (EJKs) nationwide as part of the Duterte administration’s war on illegal drugs.

In an interview over dwIZ yesterday, Trillanes said that the Gordon-led Senate inquiry into the alleged EJKs could have put an end to the killings had he acknowledged that this was happening.

“This issue was already raised last year but he gave the conclusion that there were no EJKs or no state-sponsored EJKs,” - Trillanes said.
He recalled how several witnesses of the Commission on Human Rights lined up for the hearing to narrate their respective experiences about the war on drugs were not allowed to speak by Gordon.

“Gordon cannot claim innocence here. The blood is on his hands,” - Trillanes said.

He also criticized the way Gordon has been conducting the hearings of the Blue Ribbon committee wherein he monopolizes the discussion and redirects the issue whenever it starts to lead towards President Duterte and his allies.

He recalled how in the ongoing probe into the P6.4-billion shabu smuggling from China, the so-called Davao group and the President’s son, Davao City Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte, were mentioned as influence peddlers within the Bureau of Customs but Gordon supposedly started lawyering for the younger Duterte.

“Let them defend themselves and not the chairman,” - Trillanes said.

“This Tuesday, I will call for the replacement of Gordon as Blue Ribbon committee chairman,” he added. The inquiry into the shabu shipment will resume on Tuesday.

If he fails in his bid to replace Gordon, Trillanes said that another committee should take over the probe or a subcommittee could be created to continue it in order to ensure that it would be fair.

“Based on my own assessment of my colleagues, they are also sick and tired of the way he is conducting the investigation,” - Trillanes said.

Sought for comment on Trillanes’ statement, Gordon said, “He can try. I don’t own it.”

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