Davao City Rep. Karlo Nograles on Thursday denied the claim of a former hitman that four bodyguards of his father, former Speaker Prospero Nograles, were killed.
Edgar Matobato, who admitted to being a former member of the Davao Death Squad, said in his Senate testimony that former Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte ordered the killing of four of Nograles’ bodyguards in 2010.
The older Duterte ran for Davao mayor in 2010 but he was defeated by Sara Duterte.
“I don’t know what this guy is talking about. From the time I was chief-of-staff to the time I was elected as congressman, no supporter of ours or persons under our employ was ever killed due to politics,” Nograles, chairman of the House Committee on Appropriations, said in a statement. “I can only suspect that this guy is being manipulated by some people to only serve their own selfish interests.”
“Political differences in our city has always been strictly on the level of difference in policy and style; it has never degraded into the level of physical or violent. That is why it is easy for us to set aside our differences and unite for the common good of Davao and the nation,” he added.
The Nograles clan threw its support behind Duterte in the May 2016 presidential elections after years of rivalry.
In an interview with reporters in November 2015, the older Nograles said that while Duterte has been his political foe for 30 years, the Davao City mayor has no bad blood on his family members, including his sons Karlo and Jericho, since Duterte is a cousin of his wife Rhodora Bendigo.