Philippines: Independent Investigation of Duterte Needed

Manila, Philippines - The Philippines faced calls Friday to investigate firebrand President Rodrigo Duterte after a confessed hit man alleged that Duterte ordered a thousand opponents and suspected criminals murdered when he was a city mayor.

Earlier, former militiaman and star witness Edgar Matobato told the Senate hearing that Mr Duterte had given orders that led to about 1,000 killings.

Since he took office in June, more than 3,000 suspected drug users and dealers have been killed by security forces and vigilantes, raising worldwide alarm over judicial process.

During the Senate hearing on the extrajudicial killings in the government antidrug war, on Thursday, September 15, Matobato claimed he was a member of the DDS here and one of the henchmen tasked by the former mayor, now President Duterte, to chop the body of Jocelyn's boyfriend who he said was a dance instructor.

Some of the bodies were dumped on Davao streets or buried in unmarked graves, Mr Matobato claimed, adding some were thrown into the sea with their stomachs cut open and their bodies tied to concrete blocks so they would not float. We killed people nearly on a daily basis‚"Matobato said".

Matobato said the victims included political and personal rivals of Duterte and his family, a journalist and at least one government official.

Mr Duterte arrived at the scene shortly after and is said to have finished off the dying official by "emptying two Uzi magazines" into him.

Matobato said that he killed frequently on Duterte's orders, and fed human remains to crocodiles at the now-president's behest. "The Commission on Human Rights already investigated this a long time ago and no charges were filed", he said.

Justice secretary Vitaliano Aguirre also echoed him, calling the allegations "lies and fabrications".

Matobato said that he worked for 24 years under then-mayor Duterte as a "ghost employee" in the Civil Security Unit at City Hall.

The vice mayor of Davao city and the eldest son of the president, Paolo Duterte, has also denied the accusations and said that the witness was a "madman".

Last year, Duterte addressed claims he was part of a death squad during a regular live weekly TV show broadcast locally in the Philippines.

During his testimony, Matobato named Duterte as responsible for numerous killings in Davao City when the latter was still mayor.

"I did not realize how severe and how serious the problem of drug menace in this republic was until I became president", Duterte said in a media briefing in Davao.

The Senate committee was headed by Senator Leila de Lima who is a staunch critic of Duterte's bloody anti-drug campaign.

Activists protest the alleged extrajudicial killings of drug addicts in the Philippines under the recently elected Duterte. Duterte first built a name for his deadly crime-fighting style while serving as Davao's longtime mayor before becoming president.

"People deserve to know", she said.

He told the Senate panel he went from a witness protection programme into hiding when Mr Duterte became president, fearing for his life.

She's joined by several worldwide organizations, including the United Nations and human rights watchdogs, in criticizing the wave of extrajudicial killings.

Since winning the presidential elections on May 9, Duterte once again called upon the police and civilians to kill drug traffickers and consumers under his anti-drug campaign.

Best Memes of Carson Wentz & the Eagles Beating Jay Cutler & the Bears
Mattel Inc. (MAT) Upgraded to "Buy" by Monness Crespi & Hardt