Philippines President Duterte ordered mass murders, claims former militiaman


He said that the so-called Davao Death Squad (DDS) killed at least 1,000 people, not only the drug dealers whom Mr Duterte had promised to eradicate, but also enemies of the then mayor and of his son.

"Sen. Pimentel's office has just informed us that he has denied the committee's request for Senate custody of Mr. Edgar Matobato", Trillanes office said in a text message sent to media.

Matobato also told De Lima's panel that after the 1993 bombing of the Davao Cathedral in Davao City, Duterte went to them and ordered them to kill Muslims in a mosque.

The man, who identified himself as Edgar Matobato, testified that he was part of the 300-member "Davao Death Squad" (DDS), which he alleges was run on the orders of Duterte.

Mr Duterte arrived at the scene shortly after and is said to have finished off the dying official by "emptying two Uzi magazines" into him. Another Duterte spokesman, Ernesto Abella, said at a news conference that while Matobato "may sound credible, it is imperative that each and every one of us properly weigh whatever he said and respond right".

Since winning the presidential elections on May 9, Duterte once again called upon the police and civilians to kill drug traffickers and consumers under his anti-drug campaign.

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"People are like chickens in Davao", Matobato said.

He said he chose to tell what he knew about the Davao death squads after being made a "fall guy" in the killing of a businessman in the city.

A report by CNN Philippines says Malacanang has flat out denied Matobato's allegations against Duterte.

Matobato said that in 1993, he and other members of the death squad were on a mission when they approached a road blocked by the vehicle of an agent from the Justice Department's National Bureau of Investigation.

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Mr. Duterte said, however, he will disclose his next narco-list soon, containing names of 1,000 mayors, governors, and barangay captains.

Mr Matobato said Mr Duterte had once even issued an order to kill Ms de Lima, when she chaired the country's commission on human rights and was investigating the mayor's possible role in extrajudicial killings in 2009 in Davao.

"Jamisola (the justice department official) was still alive when he (Duterte) arrived".

Duterte also said he is considering purchasing weapons and military equipment from two nations "where they are cheap and where there are no strings attached and it is transparent".

"Our job was to kill criminals like drug pushers, rapists, snatchers".

The suspect was heard arguing with King and making a verbal death threat: "Swerte lang ka kay wala ka sa Davao kay kung naa lang ka sa Davao, gipatay ta na ka (You're fortunate you are not in Davao or else I would have killed you)". "He added that they then killed Makdum whom they buried in a quarry owned by a policeman".

Victims would be shot or strangled, he said, with some disembowelled and dumped into the sea so fish could eat them, or in one case fed to a crocodile, Matobato said.

One of the victims was a foreign man suspected of being an "international terrorist", another was the boyfriend of Duterte's sister.

Matobato said the victims in Davao allegedly ranged from petty criminals to people associated with Duterte's opponents, including a wealthy businessman from central Cebu province who was killed in 2014 by a gunman in his office in Davao city allegedly because of a feud with Duterte's son over a woman.

However Matobato said he left the programme and went into hiding when Duterte won the presidency. "I will not dignify with an answer the accusations of a madman".

Matobato said the death squad "tortured" him when he asked to leave the group in 2013, prompting him to surrender to the justice department's witness protection programme.