MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte ordered the killing of a priest when he was still a mayor of Davao City, retired policeman and supposed Davao Death Squad team leader Arturo Lascañas claimed.
In an interview with ANC's Headstart, Lascañas cited Duterte's order through Sonny Buenaventura to kill a "Father Lamata" when asked if Duterte had ordered someone killed even if the target was not a criminal.
"Si Fr. Lamata. Actually, hindi siya (Duterte) personal na nag-utos sa akin, through Sonny Buenaventura kasi si Fr. Lamata kasi before the 2010 elections nag-critique daw sa kaniya sabi ni Sonny," he said.
"That was my interpretation kasi si Sonny ano namang ano niya sa pari, kasi si Sonny naman halos ang nag-ga-order sa amin," he said.
But he said the killing did not push through.
"Hindi natuloy kasi nag-rason ako saka yung kasama kong si SPO1 Jim Tan na mahirap ito dahil malakas ang habol nito kasi pari ito," he said.
Although Lascañas did not give any name, Duterte had a run-in with Fr. Pete Lamata of Davao City several years back.
An article from local edition of the news outfit Sun Star in Davao indicated that Duterte revealed in his television show that Lamata had actually been married.
Apart from this, the parish priest had reportedly been criticizing Duterte in front of his constituents.
The two reportedly made peace before the 2016 elections.
On Wednesday, Duterte said he has largely chosen to “shut up” instead of repeatedly addressing repeated allegations against him.
“I’m facing so many allegations, some are invented but some are true. Walang problema iyan (That's not a problem). I admit many died along the way for the 23 years akong mayor, but never was a time I executed a person kneeling down or with his hands pleading,” he said in a speech in Pasay City.