Panelo refutes Lascañas: Out of character for Duterte to order killings
A Palace official on Monday dismissed the testimony of confessed Davao Death Squad (DDS) leader retired SPO3 Arturo Lascañas at the Senate as a “fabrication,” saying it was “out of character” for President Rodrigo Duterte to order the killing of any person.
In a statement, chief presidential legal counsel Salvador Panelo said Duterte would never tolerate extrajudicial killings.
“It’s a fabrication. As pointed out by Sen. Lacson there is a contradiction between his statement in the press conference and in his affidavit executed the day before he made the press con. And he admitted that he had no personal knowledge of the killings and that he was only assuming,” Panelo said.
“It is out of character for the President to order the killing of a woman, pregnant or not, and for that matter any person. He is outraged by any extra-judicial killing. Neither will he tolerate it. He abhors any violation of the Constitution or any law. Anything he does as President is pursuant to the constitutional duty of serving and protecting the people imposed on him by the basic charter,” he added.
Lascañas resurfaced at the Senate on Monday during the hearing of the committee on public order led by Sen. Panfilo Lacson. Retracting his previous testimony, Lascañas affirmed the existence of the infamous DDS and implicated then Mayor Duterte in summary executions in the city.
The retired Davao policeman said Duterte ordered and paid them for the killing of criminals and enemies, including the massacre of an entire family, the death of broadcast journalist Jun Pala in 2003, and the bombing of a Muslim mosque.
Lascañas said he received a reward of P1 million from Duterte himself for the murder of Pala. He claimed to have personally killed about 200 people. JE/rga
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