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President denies knowing hitman

PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte yesterday emphatically denied knowing hitman Edgar Matobato.

“Hindi,” Duterte declared when asked if he personally knew Matobato, who also claimed being a member of the CAFGU and  a security aide of Duterte’s son, Paolo.

“I don’t remember kasi kagaya nito when I was the mayor, the one providing the security puro pulis,” Duterte told reporters.

The President also said that his security team had been composed of uniformed men because of the threats he received.

“Kita mo nga itong driver ko, pulis. Sila Sonny, si Buenaventura [Duterte’s longtime bodyguard driver Sonny Buenaventura], when he retired he was removed. Puro pulis talaga ito, “ Duterte said.

“And one time may mga military men assigned also. I think they are still sa ibang ano ko. The police because of the threat against my life and maybe with my family security provided,” he explained.

The President earlier said that he knew that Sen. Leila De Lima would use Matobato against him
   
Matobato, who is the the Senate Committee on Justice’s witness in its investigation into extrajudicial killings, claimed that he was a member of the so-called Davao Death Squad, which was allegedly controlled by Duterte.
   
He told the Senate committee that Duterte personally knew him.
   
The DDS is allegedly a vigilante group that went after suspected criminals in Davao City during Duterte’s term as mayor. The police have denied its existence.
   
Matobato said that he was once a bodyguard of Duterte’s son, Davao City Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte, when he was still a grade school student at the Ateneo de Davao.
   
But the younger Duterte refuted this, pointing out he is from Philippine Women’s College of Davao and not from the Ateneo.