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Senate inquiries are not intended to implicate anyone — law expert

A law expert on Friday clarified that Thursday's Senate hearing was simply an investigation meant to find a relevant lead in the extrajudicial killings (EJK) issue.

"Hindi ito criminal case, civil case, administrative case, ito po ay Senate investigation. Naghahanap lang po ng linya ng relevant," said. Atty. Rowena Daroy-Morales, of the University of the Philippines College of Law.

In a phone interview with Howie Severino on "News To Go," Morales explained that Senate or House inquiries do not intend to prove anyone guilty or not guilty.

These investigations only aim to gather information to help an investigation move forward, she said.

Morales explained that delving into the existence of the Davao Death Squad, allegedly formed by President Rodrigo Duterte, is relevant in the EJK issue.

"Kung mapapakita na ganito talaga yung lakaran na noon pa, at ito ngayon ay tinutuloy...doon sa thread of continuity yun, relevant yan," Morales said.

However, Morales said if the witness in yesterday's Senate hearing — self-confessed DDS member Edgar Matobato — has no connection to recent events and only came forward to take a hit on Duterte's image, then he is not relevant in the probe.


Meanwhile, Morales also noted that a witness can sound very credible while telling a false story, or sound deceptive while telling the truth.

She revealed that the general rule in understanding testimonies for court cases is, "Inconsistencies in fact add to the credibility of the storyteller."

"Wala naman ho sa mga testigo ang perfect...Ang isang bagay po ay pwedeng makita ng dalawang tao at magkaibang magkaiba ang kwento. Pero credible parin ang dalawa," she added.

However, there is a big difference between the witness' credibility and the story's credibility.

During his testimony, Matoboto released barrage of information, some of which turned out to be false or inaccurate.

"Tainted na ngayon ang iba nang mga parts. siguro yung mga totoo ay mukha nang hindi totoo, at yung hindi totoo ay mukha na ring totoo," Morales said. — Jessica Bartolome/VVP, GMA News