'Spiritual renewal'Lascañas further explained that in July 2015, when he underwent dialysis for the first time, and believed himself to be dying, he had confessed to a priest.
But Pacquiao wasn't convinced, as Lascañas gave supposedly false testimony anyway, after that, in October 2016.
Senator Panfilo Lacson remarked that "something doesn't add up."
So, what kind of "spiritual renewal" did he go through if he brought himself to tell a lie and sin against God afterwards? Lacson asked.
Lascañas said he told a lie because he was concerned about his family's safety and security, but Lacson pointed out that there was no difference between October 2016 and the present situation, since Duterte was still the sitting president.
Lascañas reasoned that his July 2015 confession was made because he believed he was dying of kidney disease at the time.
Senator Risa Hontiveros came to Lascañas' rescue, pointing out a precedent during the 2009 Blue Ribbon Committee hearing on the fertilizer fund scam, where the committee chair at the time, Richard Gordon, accepted the recantation of fertilizer supplier Feshan Phils. Inc. President Julie Gregorio, who earlier deposed that she sold the fertilizer at P600 per bottle, but later testified that she had really sold them at P150, but passed them on as P1,500 each.
Hontiveros cited Gordon as saying that based on Gregorio's admission about the true cost of the fertilizer, it was proven that only a small portion of the fertilizer fund actually went to the purchase of fertilizers.
The committee deemed the second testimony worthy because it contained the truth.
But Senator Vicente Sotto cited a 2013 proceeding at the Supreme Court, pointing out that the high court "looks with disfavor upon affidavits of recantation."
To this, Hontiveros gave the rejoinder that the Senate, being a separate and co-equal branch of government, has its own "sense and wisdom" in this situation, which was valuable, too.
Public Order and Dangerous Drugs Chair Lacson adjourned the inquiry for lack of probative value that can be obtained from the Lascañas testimony, saying there was no point in pursuing the alleged existence of DDS in the light of the Lascañas flipflop on the matter. "There was nothing more you could extract."
"That's it, Lacson said. (With a report by Ernie Reyes, InterAksyon)
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