President Rodrigo Duterte has ignored the allegations of a confessed hitman saying he ordered the killing of 1,000 ssuspected criminals and opponents while he sat as Davao City Mayor.

As of Firday, the president has remained silent despite the allegations of Edgar Matobata at the Senate Justice Committee hearing on the extrajudicial killings in the country linked to Duterte’d war on drugs.

Photo by ABS-CBN News
Duterte’s chief legal counsel, Salvador Panelo, said he saw no reason for the President to respond to statements of a “perjured witness.”

He said the president did not respond because “the lies are so obvious”.

“You know, when you watch proceedings that are obviously worthless, you would no longer comment. The people watching will reach a conclusion that this witness is a perjured witness so there is no reason to make a comment,” Panelo told reporters.

He said lawyers know how to ignore things that have no value.

sked if he had advised the President not to respond to the allegations, he said: “You know, you don’t even have to advise this President. He’s such a smart, intelligent thinking lawyer President. That’s not necessary.”

MalacaƱang said an official statement on Matobato’s allegations would come from Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II.

Aguirre said in a statement yesterday that the testimony was “rich in falsity and fabrication”.

He said the Senate only wasted resources listening to Matobato.

“It was not a hearing on extrajudicial killing, it was a case of extrajudicial lying,” he said.

Panelo claimed he wasn’t threatened by the testimony.

“How can you be threatend by lies?” he asked.

He said people like Matobato who are after ruining Duterte will not stop him from pursuing his war against drugs and terrorism.

“No amount of black propaganda, no amount of sinister ploy or plan will stop the President from his relentless campaign against the drug menace and terrorism,” he said.

He questioned why Matobato did not raise the allegations while he was still under the Witness Protection Program for some two to three years.

He wondered why the witness only showed up now.

He also noted that Senator Leila de Lima who was justice secretary while Matobato was under the program is the witness handler, and chairs the probe on extrajudicial killings.

Panelo said Matobato’s facts were jumbled.

He said this wqas the first time a man admitted to killings but claimed he didn’t know the identities of those he killed.

“So you cannot even sue him because there is no victim,” he said.

Mr. Duterte’s right-hand man in the House of Representatives, Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, described Matobato as a “recycled witness,” noting that De Lima presented him as a witness when she headed the Commission on Human Rights and the Department of Justice.

Alvarez questioned why she didn’t sue him then.

Matobato, appearing at a Senate probe on extrajudicial killings, said he was responsible for about 50 of some 1,000 killings ordered by Mr. Duterte between 1988 and 2013. MJM

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Not a word from Duterte amidst Matobato allegations Not a word from Duterte amidst Matobato allegations Reviewed by Kristian S. on 17 September Rating: 5

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