THE affidavit of witness and confessed hitman Edgar Matobato did not give any details on the alleged direct involvement of then Davao City Mayor and now President Rodrigo Duterte in the Davao Death Squad, and Duterte had not spoken to the confessed killer, an official said Friday.
“[Duterte was not directly identified by Matobato],” NBI spokesman Ferdinand Lavin said when asked if Matobato identified Duterte.
He made the statement after the hearing of the Senate committee on justice on Thursday night.
The NBI was earlier ordered by then Justice secretary and now Senator Leila de Lima to assess Matobato’s affidavit in 2014 when Matobato executed it.
Senator Richard Gordon on Friday said they voted to oust Senator Leila de Lima as head of the Senate’s justice and human rights committee, which is investigating the alleged summary killings in the police’s anti-drug operations, due to some pressure.
“We took her out because there was pressure for the Senate to show objectivity,” Gordon told ANC Headstart.
Gordon, also chairman of the Senate’s Blue Ribbon committee, replaced De Lima.
Also Friday, the Philippine National Police expressed willingness to present lawmen belonging to the alleged Davao Death Squad to the ongoing Senate inquiry on the investigation of their alleged involvement in the series of summary killings perpetrated by the DDS as insinuated by Matobato.
PNP spokesman Dionardo Carlos said the policemen that Matobato claimed had been with him in the summary killings in Davao City during Duterte’s incumbency will appear to comply with the Senate invitation.
When asked what he meant by “not directly,” Lavin said “Hindi direct na inutos sa amin ni Mayor Duterte. It’s all general statements na inutos, pero hindi detailed paano inutos. Hinahanap namin kung inutos directly sa iyo (Matobato), na nandyan ka.”
When asked who told Matobato it was Duterte, Lavin said, “It’s all [SPO4 Arthur] Lascanas [who said it was all Duterte who ordered].”
Reports in September 2015 said five Davao City policemen implicated in the alleged Davao Death Squad’s killings were absent during the preliminary hearing of their cases at the Department of Justice. The case is still pending according to Lavin.
The policemen headed by Sr. Supt. Vicente Danao Jr. were SPO1 Reynante Medina, SPO2 Rizalino Aquino, SPO2 Bienvenido Furog and SPO4 Arthur Lascanas, who Matobato had identified.
The five are facing charges for violation of the “Anti-Torture Law.”