Sara Duterte denies involvement in DDS, Oplan Tokhang

MANILA. Vice President Sara Duterte.
MANILA. Vice President Sara Duterte.Photo from Inday Sara Duterte Facebook page

VICE President Sara Duterte has denied the claims of an alleged hitman of the infamous Davao Death Squad (DDS) who linked her to the extrajudicial killings in Davao.

In a video message, Duterte denied links to the DDS, as well as the “Oplan Tokhang,” an anti-illegal drug program that aims to encourage drug personalities to surrender to the government and mend their ways.

“Bago ang script na ito. Sa mga taon na nagsilbi ako bilang vice mayor at mayor ng Davao City, ni minsan ay hindi naugnay ang aking pangalan sa isyung ito. Bigla na lang nagkaroon ng testigo laban sa akin nang mahalal ako na vice president. At kabilang na nga ako ngayon sa mga akusado sa International Criminal Court,” she said.

(This script is new. During the years that I served as vice mayor and mayor of Davao City, my name was never once linked to this issue. Suddenly there was a witness against me when I was elected vice president. And I am now one of the accused in the International Criminal Court.)

“Maliban sa tiyempo, malinaw na sadyang pinilit lang na maidugtong ang pangalan ko sa isyung ito para ako maging akusado sa ICC. Ang pagpupumilit ng ICC na pakialaman ang ating hudikatora ay panghihimasok sa ating soberanya. Paglapastangan ito sa dignidad ng mga Pilipino at sa karangalan ng Pilipinas,” she added.

(Aside from the timing, it is clear that my name was deliberately forced to be attached to this issue so that I could be accused in the ICC. The insistence of the ICC to interfere with our judiciary is an interference with our sovereignty. This is an insult to the dignity of Filipinos and the honor of the Philippines.)

She urged those accusing her to file a case of murder against her before a Philippine court.

On Wednesday, January 31, 2024, self-confessed DDS gunman Arturo Lascañas said Vice President Duterte was the brains behind the Oplan Tokhang.

He said it was implemented during Duterte’s time as the Davao City’s mayor in 2012 by her appointed Davao City Police chief Ronald dela Rosa, who later became the face of the drug war under the administration of former President Rodrigo Duterte.

Lascañas said the goal of Vice President Duterte’s Oplan Tokhang was to kill the drug personalities in the city in the guise of kidnapping.

“Mga target nila personalities sa illegal drugs. Lalo pa ang mga gumagamit ng shabu at nagbebenta. Sabi n’ya kidnapin ninyo, ilubog ninyo ang target. Para ang kaso missing person lang,” he said.

(Their targets are personalities in illegal drugs, especially shabu users and sellers. He said kidnap, sink the target. It's just a missing person case.)

MANILA. Vice President Sara Duterte.
Davao Death Squad hitman: VP Duterte brains behind Oplan Tokhang

He also said that based on his estimate, around 10,000 individuals were killed in Davao City alone under VP Duterte’s drug war.

Former President Duterte is facing an investigation before the International Criminal Court over the deaths of around 6,000 alleged drug personalities during his drug war from 2016 to 2022. (TPM/SunStar Philippines)


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