During the 5th day of the Senate hearing tackling the extra-judicial killings and the alleged Davao Death Squad (DDS), Senator Leila De Lima walked out after being accused by Committee Chairperson Richard Gordon for “material concealment.”
The said “material concealment” came from a kidnapping case against filed by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) against Edgar Matobato where de Lima failed to disclose that information before NBI revealed in the hearing.
Senator de Lima defended herself and said that no concealment happened since Matobato already stated it during the previous hearing. Senator Trillanes backed it up by reading out loud the records on hand about the statement of Matobato on his admission on the case filed against him.
De Lima took offence with the statement of Gordon regarding the “material concealment” and demanded an apology, but the committee chair declined, and de Lima decided to walk out.
October 3, 2016, Tuesday, after the issue of the non-disclosing of de Lima regarding the kidnapping case against Matobato, Matobato suddenly left the Senate without the permission of the chair. The committee only found out after a note handed to the committee chair which came from the Office of Trillanes stating that “Matobato had to leave so his security won’t be compromised.”
Gordon felt betrayed because the witness was asked to leave the Senate without the approval of the committee.
Trillanes admitted that it was his call to ask Matobato to leave and stating that his decision leads to that due to security concerns.
The sudden move caused dismay on the part of the Committee chair and vice-chairman. Gordon Stated that Matobato attended several hearings already, but safety was never an issue.
After the heated argument inside the Senate, Senator Gordon is now considering to file an ethics complaint against De Lima for two main reasons: first is the “material concealment” and the other is for walking out during a Senate Hearing.
Gordon added that there is a possibility that Sen. de Lima may be suspended, censured or even kicked out of the Senate depending on the decision of the Ethics Panel.