WHAT WENT BEFORE: Edgar Matobato
During a Senate inquiry into alleged extrajudicial killings on Sept. 15 last year, confessed hit man Edgar Matobato said President Duterte ordered him, along with other members of a supposed death squad, to kill criminals and political opponents in gangland-style assaults that left more than 1,000 dead when Mr. Duterte was mayor of Davao City.
He detailed at least 12 attacks and murders allegedly involving then Mayor Duterte and his eldest son, Paolo, between 1993 and 2014, including:
Attacks on mosques allegedly ordered by Mr. Duterte after the bombing of San Pedro Cathedral in Davao City in 1993.
Suspected foreign terrorist Sali Makdum, kidnapped on Samal Island in 2002, taken to the office of Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Task Force chief for Davao Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa then strangled to death, chopped to pieces and buried in a quarry.
Murder of journalist Juan “Jun” Pala on Sept. 6, 2003, allegedly ordered by Mr. Duterte.
Killing of NBI agent Vicente Amisola allegedly by Mr. Duterte himself, using an Uzi submachine gun, in 2007.
Order by Mr. Duterte to “ambush” Sen. Leila de Lima, when she visited the Ma-a quarry in 2009 as chair of the Commission on Human Rights.
Kidnapping and killing of four bodyguards of former Speaker Prospero Nograles, who challenged Mr. Duterte’s daughter Sara for the mayoralty of Davao in 2010.
Killing of a man with whom Paolo had a traffic altercation.
Abduction and killing of a dance instructor, the boyfriend of Mr. Duterte’s sister, Jocelyn, in 2013.
Murder of hotelier Richard King in 2014, allegedly ordered by Paolo because of a feud over a woman.
Matobato said Mr. Duterte, after becoming mayor of Davao City in 1988, recruited him into the “Lambada Boys,” an assassination squad composed of policemen and former communist rebels.
The group became known as Davao Death Squad (DDS) in the 1990s and during his time with the group Matobato said he heard Mr. Duterte order some of the killings.
He said the DDS killed mainly criminal suspects and personal enemies of the Duterte family.
Many of the victims, he said, were garroted, burned, quartered and then buried at a quarry owned by a police officer who was a DDS member. Others, weighted with hollow blocks, were dumped into sea to be eaten by fish.
Matobato acknowledged that he himself carried out about 50 of the abductions and deadly assaults, including the attack on a suspected kidnapper whom they fed alive to a crocodile.
Mr. Duterte initially ignored the allegations but later, in ambush interviews, commented that perjury was a crime and said that he didn’t personally know Matobato. For his part, Paolo dismissed the allegations as hearsay; Jocelyn also issued a denial. —INQUIRER RESEARCH
Sources: Inquirer Archives
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