The existence of the “Davao Death Squads” has never been proven, but the term is familiar in the Philippines and has played a part in Duterte’s meteoric rise to the presidency as a no-nonsense crimebuster.The United Nations and United States have expressed concern about his latest crackdown. The president has told them not to interfere, using lurid language.Paolo Duterte issued a statement dismissing Matobato’s testimony as “all based on hearsays”.Prospero Nograles, a former congressman, denied Matobato’s account of the abduction and execution of his four former bodyguards in Davao. “My security detail are soldiers and are still alive,” he said.Little is known about Matobato, who volunteered to give testimony in a senate investigation led by Leila de Lima, a former justice minister who has denounced Duterte’s crackdown.De Lima has yet to say why she did not seek to prosecute Duterte over the Davao killings when she was justice minister in the previous administration, when the former hitman first came to her for protection.Matobato told the hearing he had once served as a paramilitary who fought Maoist rebels. He said he decided to tell what he knew about the Davao death squads after being made a “fall guy” in the killing of a businessman in the city.

Source: Philippine hitman says he heard Duterte order killings | Reuters

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