The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) on Monday formally reopened its investigation on the Davao Death Squad, specializing in the testimony of Arturo Lascañas, a confessed Davao Death Squad chief.
“Even if Lascañas’ motive for implicating the former mayor in the Davao Death Squad has been put to question, especially by Senator Pacquiao during the 6 March 2017 Senate hearing, the testimony itself is too compelling and detailed to ignore,” Commissioner Roberto Eugenio T. Cadiz mentioned in an announcement.
The Davao Death Squad is a bunch of hitmen who supposedly goal criminals. It has been linked to President Rodrigo Duterte, who was the previous mayor of Davao City.
The CHR investigated such claims when Senator Leila de Lima was nonetheless its chair. De Lima, who has change into a vocal critic of Duterte, is presently detained on drug-related charges. Her supporters declare she is a sufferer of political persecution.
Lascañas, who initially denied his hyperlinks with the Davao Death Squad, resurfaced this month to recant his testimony. He mentioned Duterte was behind the death squad and that he was amongst those that led a bunch of hitmen.
The CHR identified that even earlier than Lascañas and Edgar Matobato testified towards the Davao Death Squad, it already introduced that it’s going to proceed the investigation.
In addition to the testimonies of Lascañas and Matobato, CHR “will take into evidence the human bones gathered from the Laud quarry in Davao in 2009, when it first began conducting its investigation.”
The Laud quarry in Ma-a, Davao City is the alleged dumping floor of the Davao Death Squad.
The CHR defined that the bones discovered within the quarry weren’t included in a decision it filed in 2012 ”asking the Office of the Ombudsman to look into the potential administrative and felony legal responsibility of the very best metropolis official on the time” due to a case filed by the quarry proprietor.
The proprietor questioned the validity of the warrant used to accumulate the proof.
“Two years after the CHR issued this Resolution, in 2014, the Supreme Court upheld the legality of the questioned warrant, thereby also paving the presentation in evidence of the human bones recovered from the quarry,” the Commission mentioned.
“The testimonies of Matobato and Lascañas, with the latter positively identifying the recovery site as their dumping ground, are sufficient basis to continue the investigation on the DDS,” it mentioned./rga