Items filtered by date: Monday, 06 March 2017

Witness tags Duterte son in Davao killings

By Paolo Romero (The Philippine Star) |Retired police officer Arthur Lascañas is grilled by senators yesterday over his claims that President Duterte ordered killings in Davao City through a death squad. GEREMY PINTOLO

MANILA, Philippines - President Duterte and his son Paolo had taken part in killings in Davao City, with the then city mayor reportedly showing no compunction over “collateral damage” in the alleged killing sprees, a self-confessed former death squad member told a Senate panel yesterday.

Retired Senior Police Officer 3 Arthur Lascañas hurled the accusation before the Senate committee on public order and dangerous drugs, chaired by Sen. Panfilo Lacson.

At the end of the hearing, most of the senators appeared unconvinced by Lascañas’ narrative as the panel ended its inquiry into his claims that President Duterte had directed the killings of criminal suspects and opponents using the Davao death squad (DDS).

Lascañas was the main witness in the first and last hearing conducted yesterday by Lacson’s committee.

The witness also said national police chief Ronald dela Rosa, then Davao City police chief, was aware of the DDS operations but had no actual involvement.

As the hearing progressed, Lascañas was thought to be someone only wanting a payback for failing last year to secure profitable business contracts that he thought he would bag using his alleged closeness to Duterte.

Lascañas surfaced last Feb. 20 at the Senate for a “public confession,” tagging Duterte as having ordered the assassination of broadcaster Jun Pala and the killing of hundreds of other people when he was still mayor of Davao City.

The retired policeman said he had a “spiritual renewal” around October 2015 when he survived a kidney transplant and decided to tell all on the killings he had allegedly witnessed or participated in upon the direct or indirect orders of Duterte.

Yesterday, the senators zeroed in on his recantation of his testimony before the Senate on Oct. 3 that the DDS did not exist and that the statements of self-confessed hit man Edgar Matobato were not true.

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