Duterte ordered killing of journalist Pala, says ‘DDS member’
President Rodrigo Duterte ordered the murder in 2003 of radio broadcaster Jun Pala, a known vocal critic of the then Davao City mayor, a member of the vigilante Davao Death Squad (DDS) claimed Thursday during a Senate inquiry on the spate of alleged extrajudicial killings in the country.
During a hearing of the Senate committee on justice and human rights, Edgar Matobato, who claimed to have been a member of the death squad for decades, said that the vigilante group killed Pala on the orders of Duterte.
De Lima asked, “Si Mayor (Duterte) mismo nagpapatay (It was Mayor Duterte himself who ordered it)?” Matobato answered, “Opo, siya po. Pinapatay ni Mayor Duterte noong 2003 (Yes, it was him. He ordered it last 2003).”
Asked why Duterte ordered Pala’s ambush, the witness said: “Binabakbakan siya sa radyo araw-araw, ma’am (Pala would always criticize Duterte over the radio).”
He said he was supposed to join the “operation” but he arrived late. Pala, 49, a radio station dxGO announcer, was gunned down by motorcycle-riding men on his way home in Empress Subdivision in Davao City on Sept. 6, 2003.
Matobato said he was waiting at an eatery outside the subdivision while “SPO2 Jun Ayao, SPO3 Jun Loresma and some rebel returnees who joined the DDS” carried out the killing.
“In-ambush si Pala. Inabangan paglabas ng bahay. Tapos kami naghihintay kami kung napatay na ba si Pala, naghihintay kami sa carinderia sa Ecoland, doon lagi parati kumakain si Mayor Duterte,” he said.
(Pala was ambushed when he left the house. We then waited if Pala was really killed, we waited in an eatery in Ecoland, Mayor Duterte would always eat there.)
A few days after Duterte was elected into office, the President was criticized for his tirades against corrupt reporters who extort money from politicians, citing the case of Pala as an example.
“The example here is Pala. I do not want to diminish his memory but he was a rotten son of a b****. He deserved it.” JE/rga
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