‘Hitman’ opts out of witness program


Fear has forced a lone witness against the so-called Davao Death Squad (DDS) to leave the government’s Witness Protection Program (WWP), sending investigation of the group and its supposed links to President Rodrigo Duterte in limbo, Sen. Leila de Lima said on Friday.

De Lima, in an interview, said the self-confessed hitman of the DDS who was admitted to the WPP last year voluntarily left the program weeks before the May 9 presidential elections.

“He voluntarily went out of the WPP nung nalaman nya na mananalo na si Duterte [after sensing that Duterte will win]. That’s what I heard,” the senator added, referring to Rodrigo Duterte, eventual winner of the race for President.

The Department of Justice last year initiated a fact-finding inquiry into unexplained killings in Davao City reportedly carried out by the DDS.

Until his successful presidential run, Duterte had been mayor of the city for more than 20 years.

De Lima, who was then the Justice secretary, wanted to find out the truth behind the alleged links of Duterte to the death squad, which was allegedly responsible for summary executions of suspected criminals in Davao City.

Duterte in May 2015 admitted having ties to the vigilante group and even asked Filipinos not to vote for him as President of the country because he does not want to kill more people.

De Lima said it would be difficult to continue with the investigation of the DDS now that the lone witness is gone.

“We cannot force the witnesses of the WPP to stay because the WPP is not a jailer of people. The coverage is voluntary [and]if the witness doesn’t want to stay for whatever reason, we cannot stop him,” she added.

De Lima had assigned a special team at the National Bureau of Investigation to conduct the probe before she left the DOJ to run for senator.

“But I don’t know what will happen without the prospective witness,” she said.

An article posted on the CBCP News website cited a consolidated report on the alleged killings perpetuated by the DDS from 1998 to 2015.

Based on the report a total of 1,424 were killed by the vigilante group, including women and children.


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  1. Why the hell she became a senator? She should be investigated for her incompetense as Sec of Justice, during her term the druglords started operating their drug trades inside the bilibid. What a bitch.

  2. De Lima sounds vindictive and wants to put one over the president. This was an issue she was accusing duterte during the campaign period . how about the shabu lab in muntinlupa before your very nose during your watch .

  3. Almost 1,500 victims per CBCP and one paid witness, how do you think can your case prosper? Your pulling the country backwards with this mentality. Why not focus on the number of victims of crimes and drugs. Focus on how you can help rather than how you can hamper and criticize Duterte’s campaign promise. Delima does not have credibility after jailing only 3 senators (opposition) out the 100 plus congressman involved in DAP/PDAF. And for failing miserably in handling the bilibid.

  4. Stupid and useless De lima, we cannot move forward with this kind of politician, together with stupid CBCP. You have a statistics for death in Davao, how come you don’t release stats for the number of victims? rape, drug addicts and pusher,list of corrupt politicians and bishops who deprieved millions of people with assistance they need?

  5. ernie del rosario on

    Is there anyone out there…? Still believing the lies of LIE-La ? Not even herself.

  6. Ms De Lima,
    Ms. De Lima you are running after the alleged DDS in Davao but you closed your eyes to the massive production of shabu in Bilibid prison. Are you a bipolar? As a principled and responsible citizen, you don’t have to be single-minded person but you have to be impartial in your decision. We hope Ms. De Lima behave professionally since she is now a senator of the republic.

  7. DDS means Digong Duterte Supporter not Duterte Death Squad. I am a supporter and I will testify and not only me, I think millions will testify how the mayor of Davao made Davao city a drug and crime free city. No need for Witness Protection Program for us.

    • Davao was never a crime free city and never will be.
      Davao is no different than the other cities in the Philippines.

      Murder rates among the highest in the world.

      Cebu – 93 murders per 100,000

      Zamboanga – 81 murders per 100,000

      Davao – 71 murders per 100,000

      Gen Santos – 71 murders per 100,000

      New York City – 7 murders per 100,000

      United Kingdom – 1 murder per 100,000

      According to joros Davao is a magical place where crime does not exist.

  8. De Lima is the female version of Trillianes. Putak ng putak eh wala naman palang binatbat. Pakapalan lang din talaga ng mukha at pababoyan ng ugali…