Until now, Philippine support for newly elected President Rodrigo Duterte has remained strong — famously at 91 percent in an oft-cited poll. Today, however, the Asian nation was rocked by detailed, vivid testimony of a self-confessed alleged death squad member who claims he was recruited by Duterte in 1988 during the president’s first term as mayor of the Mindanao city of Davao. The impact of the testimony remains to be seen. The Senate hearing is still in progress.
Edgar Matubato told a packed Senate hearing that he was part of a five-man hit squad called the “Lambada Boys” beginning in 1988, when Duterte started his first term. Under questioning, Matubato gave credible evidence of as many as fifty killings which he said he and the other members of the group undertook at the direct behest of Duterte from 1988 to 2013. “I want justice for my sins. I killed people,” Matubato said. “I want our countrymen to know what we did in Davao. Our job is to kill criminals like drug pusher, rapist, snatcher... These are the people we kill everyday.”
Matubato alleged that not only President Rodrigo Duterte but also his son, Davao City Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte, ordered killings, including the murder of billionaire businessman Richard King. “Richard King was killed in Davao City. It was Paolo Duterte who ordered it,” said Matubato.
Matubato also gave evidence of a retaliation bombing of a Moslem Mosque, after a church was bombed, and gave lurid and explicit accounts of multiple murders in which the victims were chopped into pieces and buried in quarries.
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