Edgar Matobato, self-confessed member of the notorious Davao Death Squad, categorically said that he personally witnessed Rodrigo Duterte kill at least eight times.
He added that the killing spree happened during the time that “Digong” was mayor of Davao City.
Most, if not all Duterte’s victims were suspected dealers or users of illegal drugs. Matobato further alleged that those people killed were seated, presumably in the mayor’s office or elsewhere at the time the mayor fired his gun. Duterte has been very vocal in claiming success in his war on drugs in Davao City and now wants to apply similar efforts to the entire country.
In a separate statement, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte admitted that he was indeed guilty of Extra Judicial Killings (EJK). He made the declaration before the military. He also denied having sent anyone to prison just as he said that he never stole even a single peso from the government treasury.
Presidential spokesman Harry Roque later said that the president was merely joking when the statement was made.
Many other witnesses
Retired police officer Arturo “Arthur” Lascañas and Edgar Matobato are not the first ones to come forward and expose the alleged widespread vigilante killings in Davao City.
Documents obtained by Rappler from the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) indicate that as early as 2009, accusations of summary killings during the mayorship of Duterte were obtained from 4 individuals.
The sworn affidavits and depositions were made in different months in 2009. It was also the year when the CHR, led by then chairperson and now detained Senator Leila de Lima, started its full probe into the existence of the Davao Death Squad (DDS).