On Thursday Senator Leila de Lima called President Rodrigo Duterte a murderer and described him as the "father of all extrajudicial killings."
This is in response to Pres. Duterte's remarks that he would protect the police officers involved in the killing of Albuera Mayor Rolando Espinosa, despite the NBI’s findings that it was obviously foul play.
Sen. De Lima says this is an admission of Pres. Duterte's involvement in the rubout of Mayor Espinosa.
She was referring to the statement made by the Philippine president last Wednesday when he said:
"Hindi ko pabayaan ang mga pulis na ito kasi ako ang may utos eh.”
“That is an admission that he is the mastermind of such extra-judicial killing. That says it all about the EJK phenomenon,” De Lima asserted.
De Lima also cited the testimony of witness Edgar Matobato on the existence of the so-called Davao Death Squad or DDS. Matobato is a self-professed hitman who worked with the supposed death squads. Last September he broke his silence in a Senate inquiry – revealing Duterte's alleged involvement with these murderous groups.
"Duterte's admission seals his fate as the Father of all EJKs, first in Davao City, now throughout the entire Philippines, with the number of his victims now beyond the five thousand mark, and still rising," the former secretary of Department of Justice said.
Last Wednesday, Duterte said he would not allow the policemen involved in the Espinosa slay to be imprisoned. This statement was made despite the initial findings of a "rubout" by the National Bureau of Investigation.
“Now we all know that the order and command to murder Espinosa in cold blood came from none other than the President himself. People of the Philippines, your President is a murderer,” De Lima said.
De Lima also lambasted the report made by the Senate Committee on Justice, which dismissed the claims of extrajudicial killings and the Davao Death Squad. The senator said she was not allowed to read the report before it was released.
“Nothing can be clearer than that. What we now have is a Presidential Death Squad,” De Lima added.
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