MALACAÑANG will look into “leaked information” that President Rodrigo R. Duterte knew and permitted vigilante killings in Davao during his term as mayor of the city.
“We will look into [it] first,” Presidential Communications Office Secretary Martin M. Andanar said in a text message to Palace reporters..
“Commission on Human Rights Regional Director Alberto Sipaco (strictly protect) at a private meeting affirmed that Mayor Duterte knows about the killings and permits them,” read cable 09MANILA1002_a, one of the diplomatic cables released on the internet by self-described “multi-national media organization and associated library” WikiLeaks.
“Recounting a conversation he once had with Duterte, who is his close friend and former fraternity brother, Sipaco said he pleaded with the Mayor to stop vigilante killings and support other methods to reduce crime, like rehabilitation programs for offenders,” it added.
Dated May 8, 2009, the cable was supposedly classified by then-United States Ambassador to the Philippines Kristie Kenney.
The cable noted that Sipaco “repeatedly attempted to reason with Duterte that the killings were unlawful and detrimental to society, but Duterte refused to broach the issue.”
“According to Sipaco, the Mayor responded, ‘I’m not done yet’,” it read.
Sipaco also reportedly attributed Duterte’s rage against criminality and drugs to family history, one of his sons allegedly having previously abused drugs.