‘President not capable of giving such orders’
Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar said he could not fathom President Duterte issuing orders for the summary executions of criminals and drug users in Davao City when he was its mayor, as claimed by an alleged member of the Davao Death Squad.
“No, I don’t think he’s capable of giving a directive like that,” Andanar said.
In Bulacan province on Thursday, President Duterte did not comment on the allegations hurled at him in the Senate when he spoke to soldiers and instead justified his war on illegal drugs, disclosing that 1,000 more public officials would be linked to the trade.
Asked why he did not believe that the President could not have ordered summary executions in Davao City, Andanar noted that Mr. Duterte was investigated by the Commission on Human Rights when he was city mayor and no charges were filed, as no direct evidence against him was unearthed.
The official was responding to the testimony of confessed assassin Edgar Matobato in the Senate on Thursday that on orders of Mr. Duterte and later his son, Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte, the Davao Death Squad killed some 1,000 criminals and drug users and pushers in the city.
Malacañang on Thursday called for “sobriety and objectivity” after Matobato dropped explosive allegations in the Senate that then Mayor Rodrigo Duterte gave orders to bomb mosques and kill people.
Presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella said Matobato’s allegations must be investigated first.
“We will have to await proper investigation regarding the matter,” Abella said in a press briefing when sought for comment.
Abella also called on people to “properly weigh” whatever had been said.
“I believe, as in all cases, all citizens should maintain a sense of sobriety and maintain a sense of objectivity,” he said.
“After all people do make statements every day. And while this person may sound credible, it is imperative that each and everyone of us properly weigh whatever is said,” he added.
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