Lascañas’ revelation on DDS a spiritual awakening—bishop
Novaliches Bishop Emeritus Teodoro Bacani on Wednesday called the revelation of retired SPO3 Arturo Lascañas, confessed leader of Davao Death Squad (DDS), a “spiritual awakening.”
“Spiritual awakening ito dahil sariling mga kapatid ay kanyang ipinapatay na hindi nagpatahimik sa kaniyang konsensiya (This is a spiritual awakening because he was bothered by his conscience in ordering the killing of his own brothers),” Bacani said over Church-run Radyo Veritas.
He also said that it did not come as a surprise since President Rodrigo Duterte has long been saying that he already killed many people in the past.
“Hindi naman kataka-taka iyan, noong una siya (Duterte) ay nagmamalaki na pumapatay siya. Hindi ako nagtataka diyan, hindi ako magugulat kung totoo talaga iyan. Hindi dapat magulat ang mga tao sapagkat iyan naman ay hindi sikreto sa napakaraming tao. Mismong ang Presidente na ang nagsabi tungkol diyan, tungkol sa kanyang sarili,” he said.
(That’s not surprising at all, he has been boasting that he has been killing people. It’s not surprising for me. and I won’t be shocked if that would be proven true)
The Free Legal Assistance Group (FLAG), together with Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV, presented Lascañas before the media last Monday morning. Retracting his earlier testimony at the Senate, the retired Davao City police officer affirmed the existence of the infamous DDS and linked Duterte to the killings in the city when he was still mayor.
Bacani said that Lascañas will not risk his life and security if there was no truth to his recent statements and urged for a careful investigation of the matter.
“Hindi iyan sasabihin ng isang tao para siraan lang ang Presidente (A person won’t say all these things just to criticize the President) I don’t think so it’s self-incriminating for his part. Narinig naman natin yung kaniyang sinabing pagpatay, pati yung pag-oorganize ng pagpatay sa sariling kapatid. Hindi na dapat pagtakpan iyan, lalabas rin ang totoo, kailangang imbestigahan iyan ng mabuti (We heard his statements on killings as well as the organizing the killing of his own brothers. It should not be covered up, the truth will come out, the matter should be investigated carefully),” he said.
According to data released by Human Rights Watch, around 1,424 summary execution cases were recorded in Davao City from 1998 to 2015.
The bishop said that even if the Palace denied the allegations on the existence of DDS, the Archdiocese of Davao first released a pastoral letter in November 2001 that expressed alarm over growing number of extrajudicial killings in their city. RAM
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