Close  

Gov’t found no evidence to link Duterte to death squad – lawyer

/ 05:29 PM May 10, 2016

AS early as 2009, the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) filed a case against Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte for his alleged involvement in the vigilante group Davao Death Squad (DDS) but found nothing to incriminate the mayor, now the “presumptive” next President of the Philippines, his lawyer said Tuesday.

“They found nothing. There was no evidence, just baseless allegations,” Atty. Vitaliano Aguirre, who represented Duterte in the 2009 case, said in a phone interview.

ADVERTISEMENT

He said that was when Duterte’s rift with now-senatorial candidate Leila de Lima started. She was then the head of the Commission on Human Rights, which came under pressure from international human rights groups to act on the reported summary executions of petty criminals in Davao City by the DDS.

“May itinuturong libingan daw ng mga victims. May nakitang mga bungo pero libingan na yun noong panahon pa ng Hapon,” Aguirre said.

(They were pointing at a burial site of the victims. There were skeletons but that was a burial site during the Japanese occupation.)

De Lima earlier said the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) had a witness, a former DDS member, to link Duterte to the extra-judicial killings in Davao City.

Duterte and De Lima had a verbal spat on the issue last year with the mayor calling the Justice Secretary stupid.

“Gaga ka ba? Abogado ako bakit ko gagawin ’yan?” Duterte told De Lima.

Aguirre said if the justice department had evidence or a vital witness, a case should have been filed against Duterte.

“They should have filed a case against him if it’s true that they have a key witness,” he said.

Acting Justice Secretary Emmanuel Caparas said the DDS “could be speculative and could be rumor or urban legend.”

ADVERTISEMENT

Still, Caparas said they took the issue seriously since it was brought to the department’s attention last year.

“There are agencies and agents actively investigating it (DDS), whether it’s true or not…There are matters kasi na may lead ka tapos nawawala tapos nabubuhay ulit,” Caparas said./rga

RELATED STORIES

Gov’t has witness against Davao Death Squad – de Lima

De Lima: Duterte must be held criminally liable for ties with Davao Death Squad

 

Read Next
LATEST STORIES
MOST READ
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.
View comments

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

TAGS: Davao Death Squad, Elections 2016, Nation, news, Rodrigo Duterte
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.


© Copyright 1997-2019 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.