The Cabinet of the President of the Philippines Rodrigo Duterte denies accusations that Duterte ordered a group of militants to carry out extrajudicial killings while he was the mayor of Davao city.
The claim was made by witness, who testified Thursday before a Committee of the Senate of the Philippines, created for investigation of alleged extrajudicial executions within three months from the moment Duterte became President.
The man called Edgar Matobato stated that he was part of a group called "the death Squad of Davao city" (DDS), which was launched on the orders of Duterte. Matobato said that DDS was killed by alleged drug traffickers and criminals in the southern city of Davao, on the orders of Duterte when he was mayor between 1988 and 2013, more than 1,000 people were killed in Davao. Matobato also accused Duterte in the murder of a member of the Department of justice.
During a regularly scheduled press conference on Thursday, Secretary of communication Duterte denied claims.
Last year Duterte stated that he was part of the death squads during the regular live weekly TV show, which airs in the Philippines.
"Me? They say I'm part of the death squads? True, it's true," he said in a mixture of English and the language spoken in the southern part of the Philippines, before threatening to kill thousands more criminals and put them in Manila Bay if he was elected President of the Philippines.
He later renounced this statement, telling reporters there had been "no death squads in Davao", but the charges remain and numerous local and international human rights organizations have repeatedly criticized his record.
Matobato said that the death squad started out as the "liquidation team" called "Lambada boys", which was formed Duterte. "Our job was to kill criminals, drug dealers, rapists, kidnappers. It was the people we kill every day," said Matobato.
Duterte assumed the position of President with enormous public support after he vowed to rid the country from drugs and corruption.
sections: Politics, World News, Accidents, Accidents