A witness who claimed to be a member of the Davao Death Squad, the notorious vigilante group allegedly behind the killings in the President’s hometown, appeared before the Senate on Thursday and made explosive accusations against President Rodrigo Duterte on his alleged orders to kill more than 1,000 individuals when he was still mayor.
Here’s a summary of the allegations of 57-year-old Edgar Matobato, who said he was hired by Duterte as one of the “Lambada Boys” in 1988, which eventually evolved into the infamous DDS:
-Matobato said he was a “ghost employee” at the Davao City Hall for 24 years as part of the Civil Security Unit, whose job was only to kill criminals.
-Matobato said Duterte ordered to ambush Sen. Leila de Lima in 2009 when the Commission on Human Rights investigated the vigilante group in Davao City.
-The witness claimed Duterte ordered the abduction and killing of four bodyguards of his political rival, former House Speaker Prospero Nograles.
-Matobato said Duterte ordered to kill Muslims suspected in the 1993 bombing of the Davao cathedral. Matobato said he himself threw a grenade in a mosque, abducted Muslim suspects, and killed and buried them in the Laud quarry.
-Matobato said he and five others kidnapped suspected terrorist Sali Makdum in Samal in 2002 by hanging him and chopping his body.
-Matobato said Duterte’s son and Davao City Vice Mayor Paolo ordered to kill a man who overtook the latter’s vehicle in a traffic altercation
-The witness, who said he had worked with Davao police for 34 years, claimed that part of the cops’ modus was to plant guns on the crime scene. “Ang pulis laging may reserba na baril para ‘pag may mapatay, lalagyan (The police always had a reserved gun so that when a person is killed, the gun can be planted),” he said.
-In 2013, Matobato said Duterte ordered the killing of a fixer at the Land Transportation Office, whose body, he said, was dumped in San Rafael village in 2013
-Matobato said they abducted three women from their house in 2013 and dumped their bodies on a road in San Rafael village.
-On the orders of five mayors including Duterte, Matobato said they killed a member of a religious group named Jun Barsabal, who he said was killed because “he was squatting on lands.” Barsabal’s body, he said, was buried at Ma-A quarry.
-Matobato said Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte ordered the killing of billionaire hotelier Richard King in 2014 over a certain “Ochoa,” a woman they were both pursuing. He said rebel returnees Joel Tapales and Loloy Gabas were given P500,000 for King’s assassination.
-Matobato said they killed more than a thousand individuals from 1988 to 2013.
-Matobato said Duterte ordered the killing of radio broadcaster Jun Pala, a vocal critic of the longtime mayor.
-The alleged DDS member said Duterte also ordered the killing of a dance instructor, supposed boyfriend of Duterte’s sister Jocelyn, who was abducted in Jacinto street. Matobato said he and six others handcuffed the instructor and killed him at the Ma-A quarry.
-Matobato said he worked with National Bureau of Investigation director Dante Gierran for 15 years and tagged him in an operation in 2007, the target of which, he said, was fed to a crocodile.
-Matobato said a certain NBI agent named Jamisola was killed by Duterte some time in 2007. He said an altercation figured between a certain Col. Pabo and Jamisola, whose vehicle was blocking the way. Matobato said Duterte arrived at the scene and killed the agent himself.
-The witness said rebel returnees were responsible for the killing of those involved in gang wars by shooting them at close range.
-Matobato said a property in Gaisano was the extension of the Ma-A quarry, where a certain “Commander Toothpick” buried the bodies of victims. He added that they also dumped bodies at the Island Garden City of Samal.
-Matobato said he left the government’s Witness Protection Program after Duterte won the presidency.
-The witness claimed that Paolo Duterte, whom he said they had been escorting since the vice mayor was a child, had long been using drugs. JE/rga