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Skeletons in firing range were from Japanese occupation, says Aguirre

/ 06:22 PM September 15, 2016
Pivate prosecutor Vitaliano Aguirre

Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre. PHOTO BY EDWARD GANAL / SENATE POOL

The skeletons found at a firing range in Maa, Davao, which Senator Leila De Lima said were from the victims of the Davao Death Squad (DDS) were bodies of people during the Japanese occupation, some were animals, Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II said.

During Thursday’s Senate hearing, De Lima mentioned that in 2009, they recovered skeletons at a firing range in Davao while they were investigating the existence of DDS. De Lima was head of the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) at that time.

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Aguirre said he was the lawyer of Benjamin Laud, the owner of the firing range.

“I personally know what happened to the case of Benjamin Laud in 2009 because I lawyered [for] him. I was there when the CHR, then headed by Senator De Lima ordered the bodies of the alleged victims of extra-judicial killings to be exhumed at Laud’s firing range.”

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“The bodies did not prove anything. As a matter of fact, there were statements that they were bodies of people who were executed during the Japanese occupation,” Aguirre said.

Some of the skeletons, he said, were probably animals.

Aguirre said if De Lima claimed the skeletons were victims of summary execution by the DDS, she should have filed a case that time. TVJ

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TAGS: Commission on Human Rights, Davao Death Squad, DDS, firing, firing range, Illegal drugs, Vitaliano Aguirre, Vitaliano Aguirre II
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