What Went Before: The ‘Davao Death Squad ‘
In 2009, then Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte found himself in the middle of a Commission on Human Rights inquiry into a spate of vigilante-style killings in his turf that had claimed over 800 victims since 1998.
Many of the victims purportedly had criminal records, giving rise to suspicions that the so-called Davao Death Squad were behind their deaths. That the killers appeared to move with impunity led some to accuse Duterte of being behind the vigilante group.
Duterte was the Davao City congressman when the killings started in 1998. He was elected mayor in 2001 and reelected to the post in 2004 and 2007.
“If you are doing an illegal activity in my city, if you are a criminal or part of a syndicate that preys on the innocent people of the city, for as long as I am the mayor, you are a legitimate target of assassination,” Duterte was quoted as saying at the height of the controversy.
But Duterte denied that a death squad was operating in the city and blamed the killings on gang wars, rivalries in the illegal drugs trade and personal grudges.
In 2010, he was elected vice mayor while his daughter, Sara, became mayor. Inquirer Research
Get Inquirer updates while on the go, add us on these apps:
Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of INQUIRER.net. We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City,Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94