A self-proclaimed ex-member of the Davao Death Squad (DDS) earlier revealed before the Senate Justice and Human Rights Committee headed by Senator Leila de Lima that the DDS killed numerous individuals allegedly upon the orders of then Davao City Mayor and now President Rodrigo Duterte.
The witness, Edgardo Matobato, was brought in by De Lima to testify at the hearing that is "part of the Senate Justice and Human Rights Committee's probe on the extra-judicial killings in the government's war on drugs," notes ABS-CBN News.
To say that Matobato shocked everyone with his allegations would be an understatement.
"Matobato claimed that the boyfriend of Duterte’s sister, Jocelyn, as well as a fixer at the Land Transportation Office (LTO), were among the group’s many victims," his testimony states.
But, he didn't stop there.
Matobato also testified that in 1993, Duterte ordered the DDS to bomb a mosque. An Inquirer report quoted him as saying, "Kasi parang gumaganti s’ya na binomba ang cathedral," (referring to the Davao Cathedral Church bombing that also happened that year).
A GMA News report, on the other hand, highlighted Matobato's allegation that the DDS also kidnapped and killed four bodyguards of former House Speaker Prospero Nograles, who used to be a rival of Duterte in their hometown of Davao City.
"Noong 2010, tumakbo po si Prospero Nograles na mayor ng Davao City. Naglaban sila ni Mayor Duterte so hinuli nila at pina-kidnap ang mga bodyguard ni Nograles. Kinidnap namin at dinala sa island city of Samal,” Matobato related.
Matobato further said that they disemboweled the corpses of their victims and then tied hollow blocks to them before loading them onto a boat and dumping them at sea.
His claim about Nograles' bodyguards, though, has been dismissed by Nograles' son, Karlo.
In a Facebook post, the younger Nograles, who is the congressman of the 1st District of Davao City, wrote this about Matobato, "I don't know what this guy is talking about. From the time I was chief-of-staff to the time I was elected as congressman, no supporter of ours or persons under our employ was ever killed due to politics."
Matobato will be subjected to a further probe by senators to determine the veracity of his claims.