Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte ‘killed justice department employee’ while mayor

‘[Mr Duterte] emptied two Uzi magazines on him’

Samuel Osborne
Thursday 15 September 2016 12:38
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Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte speaks in front of soldiers
Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte speaks in front of soldiers

The President of the Philippines shot and killed a justice department employee while he was mayor of Davao city, a former death squad member has claimed.

Rodrigo Duterte has also been accused of ordering death squads to murder criminals, Muslims and political opponents.

In a televised committee hearing at the Philippines Senate on Thursday, former militia member Edgar Matobato said he and other members of the death squad saw Mr Duterte kill an agent from the justice department’s National Bureau of Investigation in 1993.

He said the death squad was blocked by the vehicle of an NBI agent and a confrontation led to a shootout, leaving the agent wounded and out of bullets.

He then alleges Mr Duterte, who was Davao mayor at the time, arrived as the scene and shot the agent with a submachine gun.

“Mayor Duterte was the one who finished him off,” Mr Matoboto said under oath, according to a translation from AFP.

“Jamisola [the justice department official] was still alive when he arrived. He [Mr Duterte] emptied two Uzi magazines on him.”

Mr Matobato also admitted involvement in around 50 abductions and murders and claimed his gang fed a suspected kidnapper to a crocodile in 2007.

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“Our job was to kill criminals like drug pushers, rapists, snatchers. These are the kind we killed every day,” the 57-year-old said.

He added that their targets were not only criminals but also opponents of Mr Duterte and one of his sons, Paolo Duterte, who is now the vice-mayor of Davao.

Philippine human rights officials and advocates have previously said potential witnesses refused to testify against Mr Duterte when he was still mayor out of fear of being killed.

The President’s office said it would wait for the Senate hearing to conclude before issuing an official statement.

Additional reporting by AP

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