MANILA, Philippines — Self-confessed hitman Edgar Matobato filed on Friday complaints against President Rodrigo Duterte and his son, Davao City Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte, for the alleged crimes of murder, torture and kidnapping. Matobato, who appeared before the Senate Justice committee in September, said he was a member of the Davao Death Squad, which he said was formed when Duterte became city mayor in 1988. What followed was a string of killings of suspected crooks and critics of the local government that he said were done at Duterte’s direction. “In his affidavit, Matobato said the DDS is responsible for over a thousand murders from 1988 until he left the group sometime in September 2013. He also added the group’s main targets were robbers, rapists and other suspected criminals in Davao,” Matobato’s camp said in a statement.
Matobato’s lawyer Jude Sabio filed the complaints at the Office of the Ombudsman in Quezon City also accusing Duterte, his son and 26 others of violations of international humanitarian law, genocide and other crimes against humanity. Also included in the complaint are Philippine National Police Ronald dela Rosa, SPO4 Bienvenido Laud, SPO3 Arthur Lascañas and several other police officers Matobato previously tagged as being behind the so-called Davao Death Squad, or DDS, which targeted criminals and other opponents of Duterte where he served as mayor for two decades. “Siya (Duterte) ang nag-uutos sa pagpatay. Kapag kilala ang biktima o big-time, pumupunta si Duterte sa Laud Quarry para siguraduhin na ‘yun nga ang target at para manood sa pagchop-chop ng bangkay (Duterte would order the killing. If the victim was someone known, he himself would go to Laud Quarry to confirm the target’s identity and to observe the corpse be mutilated),” Matobato said in his affidavit.
Duterte has repeatedly denied his involvement in the Davao Death Squad and his direct links to killings in his city. Sabio, meanwhile, said another witness will be presented to back Matobato’s allegations against the president. Matobato’s complaints came after the Senate justice panel released its conclusion to its months-long inquiry into the rise of killings since the start of Duterte’s presidency in July. Sen. Richard Gordon, the panel chair, said the body did not find evidence of state-sponsored extrajudicial killings and of the Davao Death Squad.
Gordon also recommended charging Matobato with perjury for allegedly lying under oath and with kidnapping and murder over the death of Sali Makdum, whom Matobato said the DDS killed in 2002 under Duterte’s orders. Recently, Matobato was interviewed and quoted "HANDA AKONG MABITAY BASTA MAUNA SI DUTERTE! DAHIL SIYA ANG MAY PASIMUNO NG LAHAT!"