Alleged “DDS” member links Duterte to planned De Lima ambush in 2009

MANILA, Philippines - Self-confessed "Davao Death Squad" (DDS) member Edgar Matobato said during a Senate inquiry on Thursday, September 15 that former Davao City mayor and current president Rodrigo Duterte ordered his men to kill Senator Leila De Lima and some members of the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) in 2009.

At that time, De Lima, the chairperson of the CHR, launched an investigation on the vigilante group. De Lima and her group searched the quarry site owned by former policeman Bienvenido Laud in Barangay Ma-a, Davao City for reported mass grave of DDS victims in July 2009.

Alleged “DDS” member links Duterte to planned De Lima ambush in 2009
Photo Credit: GMA News
Matobato, a former Citizen Armed Force Geographical Unit (Cafgu) member, said Duterte ordered his men to ambush De Lima and her team. However, their attempt failed as De Lima and her team did not reach the area where the killers were waiting.

“Noong hinukay niyo ‘yung sa (Barangay) Ma-a, inabangan ka namin. Pumasok kayo, naka-ambush position kami. Pero hindi ka na pumasok sa office. Doon lang kami sa entrada. Hindi na namin kayo naabutan, ando’n kami sa taas,” Matobato said.

(When you dug up Ma-a, we waited for you. You went inside, we were in an ambush position. But you didn’t go inside the office. We were just at the entrance. We were not able to get you, we were up there.)

De Lima, a staunch critic of the president alleged of coddling drug lords, told Matobato that they weren’t able to go up as the place is a hilly property.

The former Justice Secretary launched a probe into the DDS during her stint as human rights chairperson. She also attempted to revive a case involving the DDS when she served as the Justice Secretary. However, the case was dropped due to lack of evidence.

Aguirre says Matobato coached by De Lima

Department of Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre said Matobato’s testimony against Duterte are “all lies” that aims to “cushion” and “dilute” the impending testimonies linking De Lima to illegal drug trade.

"He's a lying witness, hindi totoo yan. Walang katotohanan sinasabi nito (Matobato), he's a lying coached witness. Tinuruan lang niya (De Lima)," Aguirre said.

Watch the video.

--Mini, The Summit Express

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