MANILA – Self-confessed hitman Arturo Lascañas on Monday admitted that several personalities approached him in a bid to score deals with the government following his denial of the existence of the Davao Death Squad (DDS) in October last year.
Lascañas said since his appearance in a Senate hearing in October 2016 where he denied the existence of the death squad, several of his friends approached him, asking whether they could use his influence in scoring deals with various government agencies.
He said he tried to help his friend, a certain barangay chairman, get licenses to operate Small Town Lottery (STL) in several “juicy areas” in Luzon from Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) chairman Jose Jorge Corpus.
“Personally naramdaman ko na dahil naexpose ako sa Senate investigation, and then kumbaga parang successful yung pagsisinungaling ko, at it appears na tao talaga ako ni mayor, so parang naramdaman ko na gamitin nila ang personality ko para maka influence. Hindi naman umubra kay chairman Corpus,”Lascañas told Senator JV Ejercito.
Lascañas said Corpus did not approve his friends’ request for an STL license, despite the presence in the dinner meeting of presidential son, Sebastian Duterte.
According to Lascañas, the discussion further bogged down after he threatened Corpus through the latter’s child.
“In-explain ng anak ni Chair Corpus na ang tatay niya na-threaten ng malalaking financiers sa Luzon. And then sinabi ni kapitan, ‘threat lang pala ang kapalit para ma-okayhan ang mga prangkisa.’ Eh ‘di sinabi ko rin, ‘eh ‘di i-threat na lang natin ang tatay mo,’” Lascañas said.
Lascañas said, apart from the gambling deal, several of his friends also sought to use his “influence” in putting up a public transportation terminal and getting Customs brokerage and construction supply deals.
He said, all these attempts to use his influence produced no results.
Lascañas, who has since recanted his October statement, said he harbored no ill feelings despite the rejections because he was not the one seeking the favors, but his friends.
Several senators, however, were not convinced that Lascañas was not disappointed by the rejections.
“Maraming lumalapit sa iyo. Syempre sinasabi na very close kay President Duterte. Kaya talagang bumaha ang mga lumapalit sa iyo. Anong score? Zero?” Senator Panfilo Lacson, chair of the panel hearing Lascañas’ claims, asked the self-confessed hitman.
“Zero,” responded Lascañas.
“Practically, common sense lang yan sa isang tao. Sa tingin mo mapaniwala mo kami na hindi sumama ang loob mo?” Senator Manny Pacquiao told Lascañas.