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Monday, September 23, 2019

Senate panel ends probe into Lascañas 'confession'

AFTER conducting one hearing on Monday, the Senate committee on public order and dangerous drugs concluded its probe on the testimony of Arturo Lascañas, a self-confessed member of the so-called Davao Death Squad (DDS).

Senator Panfilo Lacson, panel chair, said that Lascañas' credibility is in question as reports surfaced that the dance instructor (DI) whom he claimed was killed by DDS hitman Edgar Matobato turned out to be alive.

"Anong gagawin mo kung buhay ang DI ni Jocelyn Duterte?" said Lacson, referring to the sister of President Rodrigo Duterte.

Matobato earlier said that Duterte ordered the killing of his sister's DI after he found out that they are having a romantic affair.

According to Lacson, he and his colleagues decided to terminate the probe as Lascañas was not able to substantiate his claims against the President.

“Nag adjourn na kami kasi paikot-ikot na lang. Unless may isang tatayo na senador para mag motion to reopen the hearing depending on the witnesses and evidence that will be presented," Lacson told reporters.

Lacson urged Lascañas to show concrete proof that Duterte has a direct hand in the killings when the latter was mayor of Davao City.

But Lacson said the need to invite some personalities mentioned during the hearing, including Jerry Trocio, alleged to be a major player in the 2003 killing of broadcaster Jun Pala and is now reportedly working in the Davao City hall.

Contempt

Earlier, Senator Manny Pacquiao moved that Lascañas be cited for contempt but was immediately contested by Senators Risa Hontiveros and Vicente Sotto III.

In his argument, Pacquiao said the "lies" of Lascañas must not be tolerated by the Senate.

However, Lascañas maintained that no one is behind him and that it was his conscience dictating him to tell the truth.

"Hindi ko kaya baunin sa aking libingan ang mga nagawa kong kasalanan. Wala pong nagtulak sa akin," he said

The alleged DDS leader even said that he receives a monthly allowance of P100,00 from Duterte until January of this year.

"Mabait po sa akin si Mayor Duterte. Mayroon po akong monthly allowance na P100,000 sa kanya. Huling kuha ko last January 2017. Pebrero pagkatapos ako lumabas hindi na ako nakatanggap. Si Mayor Duterte din ang nagbayad sa aking kidney transplant last October 2015 [halagang] P200,000, at P100,000 binigay ni Sir Bong Go," he said.

Lascañas cleared the leadership of the Philippine National Police (PNP) but claimed that then-Davao City police chief and current PNP Chief Ronald Dela Rosa was aware of the group's operation. (SunStar Philippines)
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