A confessed death squad hitman revealed he personally saw the president of the Philippines kill enemies.
Edgar Matobato said Monday that he saw President Rodrigo Duterte commit at least eight murders, seven at the Ma-a quarry in Davao, during Duterte’s stint as mayor of Davao, reports the Inquirer.
“There’s been a lot,” Matobato said in response to questions about Duterte’s personal involvement in killings.
“In Ma-a…perhaps seven times,” Matobato introduced, speaking to reporters at a safe house. “Sometimes, he went to the quarry at night if the person to be shot was someone important.”
“He would go there. He would fire while the person was seated,” he added.
He did not give any specific details about the nighttime killings; he only suggested that some of the victims were criminals. He mentioned that the eighth victim was a National Bureau of Investigation agency. Matobato claimed that Duterte emptied two Uzi magazines into the agent.
The Inquirer was not able to independently verify his claims.
Matobato has been moving between safe houses since he testified against the president during a Senate hearing in September.
During the hearing, Matobato claimed he served as a member of the Davao Death Squad (DDS) under Duterte. At that time, he revealed that Duterte ordered the deaths of over 1,000 people.
He said the DDS killed people, chopped up their bodies, and fed the parts to crocodiles.
Filipino lawmakers mocked Matobato’s testimony. “The Senate committee on justice hearing wasted valuable government resources and our people’s money by listening to the testimony of Matobato,” Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II said.
“They are saying I’m part of a death squad. True, that’s true,” Duterte said prior to the election. Duterte later walked back his statement, saying “I have denied that DDS is a criminal group. There’s no such thing as a DDS. There’s only a Davao Development System – that is my guiding principle.”
In recent weeks, Duterte has made several shocking admissions.
“In Davao I used to do it (kill) personally. Just to show to the guys (police) that if I can do it, why can’t you,” Duterte said at a business meeting in mid-December.
“I would just patrol the streets, looking for trouble. I was really looking for a confrontation so I could kill,” he added.
He confessed to BBC that he personally shot three men.
“I killed about three of them… I don’t know how many bullets from my gun went inside their bodies. It happened and I cannot lie about it,” Duterte told reporters.
At the end of last month, he admitted that he threw a man out of a helicopter.
Since Duterte took office, around 6,000 people have perished in a shoot-to-kill drug war, with the majority of the deaths believed to be extrajudicial killings carried out by police and vigilantes.
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