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Palace dismisses allegations

The public should not accept hook, line and sinker the testimony of an alleged member of the Davao Death Squad (DDS) as President Duterte is not capable of ordering summary killings in his home city, Malacañang asserted yesterday.

“I don’t think the President is capable of doing a directive like that,” Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar said in a Palace press briefing.

Andanar recalled that the Commission on Human Rights was unable to prove past allegations that Duterte was linked to the notorious vigilante group when he served as mayor of Davao City.

“Di ba inimbestigahan na noon yan ng Commission on Human rights nung sinaunang panahon, nung mayor pa si pangulo.

Wala naman charge, wala naman si-lang nakitang direktang ebidensya,” he said.

Andanar came to Duterte’s defense after Edgar Matobato, a self-confessed member of the DDS, dropped the bombshell during Senate inquiry on extrajudicial killings led by Senator Leila de Lima. Matobato testified that Duterte ordered his team to kill criminals and opponents when he was city mayor.

Presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella also encouraged the public to stay calm and objective, saying it was prudent to wait for the proper investigation into the matter.

“As in all cases, all citizens should maintain a sense of sobriety, maintain a sense of objectivity. After all, people do make statements everyday,” Abella said in the same news conference. (Genalyn Kabiling)