The Philippines yesterday faced calls for an investigation on President Rodrigo Duterte after Edgar Matobato, a confessed hitman, alleged that the President ordered the killings of thousands of drug suspects and his opponents during his term as Mayor of Davao City.

Matobato claims trigger call for Duterte probe
Photo by Rappler
Matobato, 57, testified in a Senate Inquiry on Thursday, saying he and other members of the 

Controversial Davao Death Squad killed over a thousand people in Davao, as ordered by Duterte, with him shooting one of the victims himself.

These are serious allegations and we take them seriously, we look into them,” said Mark Toner, deputy spokesperson for the US state department.

These allegations surfaced in the probe on the extrajudicial killings linked to Duterte’s drug war that has taken some 3,000 lives, arranged by the Senate Comittee on Jutice and Human Rights.

Matobato’s statements shed light “the similarity of the strategy adopted by the [Davao Death Squad] and that of the vigilantes that now roam the whole country,” Sen. Leila de Lima, the committee chair, said in a statement.

Matobato also claimed that Duterte ordered De Lima’s death when she was chair of the Comission on Human Rights.

He said the squad was waiting to ambush De Lima but she failed to go to the part of a hilly area to investigate a mass grave where they were waiting to open fire.

“If you went inside the upper portion, we were already in ambush position,” Matobato told De Lima. “It’s good that you left.”

US-based watchdog Human Rights Watch (HRW) urged the Philippines to let United Nations investigators probe Matobato’s claims.

“President Duterte can’t be expected to investigate himself, so it is crucial that the United Nations is called in to lead such an effort,” the monitor’s Asia director, Brad Adams, said.

Philippine presidents are immune from criminal prosecution as long as they are in their term.

The constitution however, allows impeachment or removal from office for “culpable violation of the Constitution, treason, bribery, graft and corruption, other high crimes, or betrayal of public trust.” MJM

Source: Inquirer

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Matobato claims trigger call for Duterte probe Matobato claims trigger call for Duterte probe Reviewed by Kristian S. on 17 September Rating: 5

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