Davao hitman files case vs Duterte

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Complaint lodged over extrajudicial killings

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SELF-confessed hitman Edgar Matobato filed a complaint on Friday at the Office of the Ombudsman against President Rodrigo Duterte and his son Davao City Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte, Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Ronald de la Rosa and several others in connection with alleged killings conducted by the “Davao Death Squad” (DDS).

Edgar Matobato

Edgar Matobato

Matobato, whom Duterte’s arch-nemesis Sen. Leila de Lima presented before a Senate inquiry in September, accused 28 respondents of murder, kidnapping, murder with kidnapping as well as violation of the Anti-Torture Act and Republic Act 9851 which covers crimes against humanity.

Also accused were retired police senior superintendent Dionisio Abude; then-police senior superintendents Rey Capote and Tony Rivera, then-colonel Isidero Florivel, then-police chief inspectors Jacy Francia, Fulgencio Pavo, and Ronald Lao;

Then-senior police officers Arthur Lascañas, Sanson Buenaventura, Bienvenido Laud, Jim Tan, Reynante Medina, Bienvenido Furog, Vivencio Jumawan, Rizalino Aquino, Enrique de los Reyes Ayao, Donito Ubales, Jun Laresma, and Jun Bisnar; and retired police officer Arnold Dechavez, Ludy Pagidupon, Jojo Bosa, Romel Capitana, “Intsik” Tan and Boboy Maldito.

Matobato alleged that in 1988, then-Davao City mayor Rodrigo Duterte formed and led a group that later became known as the DDS.

“This group was composed of some members of the Davao City police and some civilians collaborating with the police who were part of the DDS. It carries out extrajudicial killings or killings of suspected criminals such as hold-uppers, rapists, snatchers, drug pushers, drug addicts and other individuals on Mayor Rodrigo Duterte’s orders,” he said.

In a judicial affidavit, which was executed on December 7 and attached to the complaint, Matobato said he was part of the original group that became known as the DDS.

Matobato alleged that Duterte was the “highest leader” of the group and that Lascañas and Buenaventura were the right-hand men.

The affidavit also detailed how the alleged killings were carried out, and enumerated the names of victims.

According to Matobato, the DDS usually abducted and strangled victims, chopped the bodies and buried the remains in dumping grounds.

He claimed the group killed over 1,000 people from 1988 until he left it in 2013. “When I decided to leave the DDS in September 2013, I was tortured,” Matobato alleged.

He said he filed the complaint so that the Ombudsman would conduct an investigation and hold Duterte and other respondents liable.

Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales, who was at an anti-corruption forum in Quezon City on Friday, said she had yet to read the complaint.

When asked if she would inhibit from investigating the President, the Ombudsman said: “I will see, I will look at the case.”

Morales is related to the husband of the President’s daughter, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio.

‘Harrassment’

Malacañang on Friday branded as “harassment” the complaint filed by Matobato against President Duterte.
“The complaint is nothing but harassment aimed at distracting the Chief Executive from performing his duty,” Presidential Communications Assistant Secretary Ana Marie Banaag said in a statement.

Banaag said the Palace acknowledges the constitutional mandate of the Office of the Ombudsman to act on and investigate complaints against government officials, but reiterated the President’s immunity from suit.

“It is noteworthy to mention that the Ombudsman cannot discipline or remove impeachable officials, which include the President. He enjoys immunity while in office,” she said.

Banaag said the Palace could not comment further on an ongoing case.

But she added: “the Ombudsman already terminated an earlier investigation on the Davao Death Squad case which linked then Davao City Mayor Duterte.”

Asked about a January 2016 letter sent to the Commission on Human Rights by the Office of the Ombudsman, which stated that the investigations into the DDS had been closed and terminated, Morales said: “I’m not a signatory to that. I understand it was the Overall Deputy Ombudsman [Melchor Arthur Carandang] who came up with it.”

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6 Comments

  1. If there is smoke, there is fire. In that case, make use of fire extinguishers. Likewise anyone who, being a member of any group doing evils against his kind, knows pretty well the ins and outs of their group’s trade,. Thus when he realized that what he has done is burying him deeply into the dungeon of nothingness, he escapes to try to save himself if he can. But unfortunately, his beloved group’s lead actor had metamorphosed into a new field by way of very convincing words favorable to the masses who having been fed up of the old system jump to the said group’s leader hoping for a change in the long struggle for the better. So whatever statement of truth he makes just go to waste as lies. Yes, he tells the truth because he is one of them as the butcher but who will believe him when his boss and cohorts now holds the gavel. Now – sorry for the guy….better. Luck next time – in the future maybe………Good luck..

  2. Extra-judicial killing is defined as the killing of a person by governmental authorities without the sanction of any judicial proceeding or legal process—so they say.
    Whoever coined this term made the insinuation that all government are evil , and that all government must be evil.
    The word extra which prefixes the word judicial is extremely evil because it readily make it appear that those killings are the extra-curricular activities of the government or any government.
    So even before a leader assumes leadership , he already has a sin to inherit.
    The word judicial should not be extended—this is evil practice. It is said RIGHTLY DIVIDE THE WORD OF TRUTH. Divide , do not extend!
    When you divide a word , you kill any evil motive and wicked intention which might arise. But if you make an extension of the word by using the word extra—you provide a home for all forms of evil.
    Therefore the term extra-judicial killing is a misnomer , it should be anti-judicial killing. This new term will kill political motives because it divides so that the whole truth comes out.

  3. Ang mga dilawan ang nasa likod siguro nito, kasama na ang mga mayayamang negosyante tinamaan ng kidlat dahil sa mga magagandang programa ng Pangulo.

    Baka ito na ang sinasabi nilang planong pabagsakin ang pamahalaan ng Pangulo sa susunod na taon. Kung sakaling ito na yun ay siguradong harapin ito ng galit na mga taong bayan dahil sa walang humpay na suporta sa Pangulo ng karamihan.

  4. “I’m not a signatory to that. I understand it was the Overall Deputy Ombudsman [Melchor Arthur Carandang] who came up with it.” – WOW, so she is basically saying that the deputy ombudsman’s decision are useless if she is not a signatory. Aba, tanggalin na lahat ng deputy at assistant ombudsman kung useless naman pala ang functions nila. Palitan na lang ng mga investigators at prosecutors. Ang lalaki ng sweldo ng mga yan tapos magiging useless din pala sila sa paningin ni Conchita.

  5. Only in the Philippines a alleged killer can filed charges against a sitting President. He himself should be the one who need to be charged, but in the Philippines it is the other way around. That is why President Duterte is so popular. Because He hate this kind of things. He should be in jail, not Mr Duterte.