A WITNESS who claims to be a member of the Davao Death Squad (DDS) alleged yesterday that former Davao City mayor and now President Duterte had ordered kidnappings, killings of criminals and bombings.
During the resumption of the Senate hearing on extrajudicial killings, Edgar Matobato claimed that he was part of the seven-member Lambada group formed in 1988. The group was later known as the DDS.
The leader of the group, he said, is a certain Arthur Lascanas, the alleged right-hand man of the former mayor now President Duterte.
Matobato said the members of DDS were working as ghost employees at the Davao City under the “Heinous Crimes Section.”
“Ang trabaho lang namin pumatay ng pumatay ng tao kasama ang mga police at rebel returnees,” he said.
Matobato said his group had kidnapped and killed four supporters of former House Speaker Prospero Nograles upon the orders of his bitter political rival Duterte, then mayor of Davao City.
“Naglaban sila ni Mayor Duterte kaya hinuli nila at pinakidnap ang mga tao ni Nograles,” Motabato said.
He disclosed that they brutally killed four personnel of Nograles, including women, in the Island Garden City of Samal, Davao del Norte after kidnapping them in 2010 on orders of Duterte.
“Dinala namin sila sa Island Garden City of Samal… Nilagay sa buhangin at binigti lahat. Biniyak namin ‘yung tiyan tapos ako ang nagkarga ng bangka doon sa laot. Tinapon na namin. Nilagyan ng hollow blocks, tag tatlo isang tao,” he said.
Matobato claimed that the President also ordered the murder of Davao-based radio broadcaster Jun Pala, who was killed in 2003.
Also among the people they allegedly killed was a certain Salem Makdum, alleged international terrorist, whom he said they abducted from the Island City of Samal in 2002.
According to Matobato, they presented Makdum to then-Davao PAOCTF head-now-PNP Chief Ronald de la Rosa. He added that they then killed Makdum, by chopping his body parts and buried him in a quarry owned by a policeman.
He added that Duterte also ordered the bombing of a mosque in 1993 in retaliation for the bombing of the Davao Cathedral.
Among those the group killed were an LTO fixer, three women allegedly drug pushers and religious group leader Jun Barsabal because of land squatting, he alleged.
Even the dance instructor who was the boyfriend of the President’s sister, Jocelyn, was abducted and killed at Ma-A quarry in 2013.
Also killed was Jamisola, an NBI agent, allegedly shot by Duterte himself using an UZI in 2007.
In his estimate, Matobato said that he killed along with the group around 1,000 persons.
Matobato also made allegations against Davao City Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte, son of President Duterte, tagging him in the killing of billionaire businessman Richard King in 2014 at yesterday’s Senate hearing on extrajudicial killings.
The witness claimed that the vice mayor allegedly ordered the killing of King because of a woman.
Matobato, who claims to be a security escort for Paolo Duterte, also alleged that the vice mayor has been using shabu.
“Gumagamit ng drugs... pero hindi nagtutulak,” Matobato alleged.
But the vice mayor, through the Chief Information Officer of Davao City, said, “What (Senator Leila) de Lima and this certain Matobato say in public are bare allegations in the absence of proof. They are mere hearsay. I will not dignify with an answer the accusations of a madman.”
During the hearing, Matobato alleged, “Noong 2014 pinatay ang pinakabilyonaro na si Richard King sa Davao City. Ang nag-utos si Paolo Duterte dahil nagra-rival sila ni Richard King sa babae, yung may-ari ng McDonalds, si Ochoa hindi ko alam ang pangalan.”
Matobato claimed that two rebel returnees — Joel Tapales and Loloi Gabas — were allegedly tasked to kill King and were given P500,000.
However, the gunmen were later also killed.
“Pinatay nila, dinouble cross yan, yung pulis na nag-utos. Sina Joel Tapales at Loloi Gabas ang tumira. Umuwi sila ng bahay tapos dinukot sila, inistambay muna sa Holiday Inn, pagkagabi, ibinyahe na sila at inilibing sa buhangin,” Matobato said.
Asked how he knew that it was Duterte who ordered the killing, Matobato said the vice mayor went to their office where the killing was planned.
He said he wanted to quit but the group tagged him as the gunman in the killing of King to prevent him from talking.
“June 12 napatay si King, pagdating ng June 19 hinuli nila ako, ginagawaan nila ako ng paraan para hindi na ako magsalita. Tinorture ako ng isang linggo pero mabuti na lang at hindi ako na-salvage,” Matobato said.