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NBI tapped to get Lascaña

Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II has asked the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to locate and capture self-confessed Davao Death Squad (DDS) member, retired policeman Arturo Lascañas.

Aguirre has issued a memorandum instructing NBI Director Dante Gierran to arrest Lascañas, believed to be staying in Singapore with his family after leaving the Philippines last April 8.

“In the interest of the service and pursuant to the provisions of existing laws, you are hereby directed to coordinate with the International Police Organization or INTERPOL to gather information on the location and whereabouts of Arturo Lascañas and to coordinate with the proper authorities for his apprehension,” read his memorandum dated June 8.

The secretary gave the directive after the Davao City Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 10 issued last June 5 an arrest warrant against Lascañas.

Lascañas is facing before the RTC two counts of attempted murder and one count of murder in connection with the attacks and killing of broadcaster Juan “Jun” Pala.

After initially making denials, Lascanas had testified before the Senate that he was a member of the DDS and had committed killings upon the orders of Presidento Duterte when he was still mayor of Davao City.

Lascañas claimed he killed Pala who been criticizing Duterte when he was still mayor.

The Davao City Prosecutor’s Office filed the case against Lascanas based on the complaint of Pala’s wife, Louise, and his testimony at the Senate.

Pala was ambushed twice in June 2002 and April 2003 but survived.

He was later killed while walking on his way home in September 2003. (Jeffrey G. Damicog)