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Duterte, son tagged in killings

A self-confessed member of the infamous Davao Death Squad (DDS) surfaced at the Senate yesterday and narrated tales of brutal killings in Davao City allegedly on orders by then Mayor Duterte and his son Paolo Duterte.
Edgar Matobato, 57, provided graphic details on the killings, including one instance when a victim was fed into a crocodile.

Senator Ping Lacson, however, doubted some of Matobato’s testimonies, warning him that he could face charges for perjury.

In particular, Lacson cited Matobato’s narration, saying that his group brought a certain terror suspect Sali Makdum to the office of the Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Task Force (PAOCTF) in 2002.

Lacson said PAOCTF was abolished in 2001. He added that he couldn’t find the name of Makdum on Google.

“Kanina pa ako google nang google kay Sali Makdum… gigil na gigil ako wala akong makita. Baka non-existent ‘yan,” he said.

Lacson also corrected Matobato’s story about the death of billionaire Richard King who was killed inside a fastfood chain allegedly on order of Paolo, Duterte’s son.

He said King was shot at close range in the head inside the office of his company Vital-C.

Senator Allan Peter Cayetano, Duterte’s running mate in the last elections, dismissed Matobato’s Senate appearance as part of the alleged plot to topple the administration.

Cayetano said Duterte’s removal would pave the way for the takeover of Vice President Leni Robredo who belongs to the Liberal Party.

“I would like to know if this is just Plan B of the Liberal Party na makuha ang Malacañang at manira lang,” he said.

Matobato, who was presented by Senator Leila de Lima at the resumption of the Senate hearing on extra-judicial killing, claimed it was Duterte, then Davao mayor, who recruited him to be part of the “Lambada boys,” originally composed of seven members.

“Our job was to kill criminals, like drug pushers, rapists, snatchers. That’s the kind of people what we kill everyday,” Matobato said.

The group later became the DDS, the group accused of alleged summary killings in Davao City which De Lima investigated in her capacity as justice secretary and head of the Commission on Human Rights.

De Lima herself was targeted, according to Matobato claiming that it was Duterte himself who ordered the ambush that did not materialize in 2009.

Among the incidents Matobato claimed to have been ordered by Duterte were the bombing of a mosque in 1993, the murder of four supporters of former House Speaker Prospero Nograles, Duterte’s political rival; and the killing of radio broadcaster Jun Pala in 2003.

Matobato also attributed some of the killings to Paolo Duterte whom he claimed to be a shabu user. (HANNAH TORREGOZA)