MANILA - Senator Antonio Trillanes IV on Wednesday defended retired policeman Arturo Lascañas from allegations that he lied about the killing of a dance instructor at the hands of a vigilante group being linked to President Rodrigo Duterte.
Lascañas, in a Senate hearing, testified Monday that he and fellow members of the alleged Davao Death Squad (DDS) murdered hundreds of people on Duterte's orders, including the dance instructor of his sister, Jocelyn.
A certain Reuben Baguio, however, popped up on social media, introduced himself as Jocelyn's dance tutor and insisted that he was alive and well.
Trillanes said Lascañas was not referring to Baguio.
"Kahit reviewhin mo testimony ni Lascañas, walang pangalan ang dance instructor. Walang pangalan, walang profile, hindi nila ginagawa yun so paano masasabi yung mga lumalabas sa social media ay sya nga ang dance instructor, unless s'ya lang ang dance instructor sa Davao," he said.
(Even if you review Lascañas' testimony, the name and profile of the dance instructor was not mentioned. So how could those surfacing on social media claim that they were the dance instructor referred to, unless he is the only dance instructor in Davao.)
He added that the Duterte camp gave conflicting reactions to Lascañas' claim and a similar account by professed DDS hitman Edgar Matobato.
"Kay Matobato, ang sabi ng kapatid ni President Duterte, wala siyang dance instructor. Noong kay Lascañas na, buhay 'yung dance instructor," the senator said.
(President Duterte's sister said she has no dance instructor after Matobato admitted that he killed the man. When it was Lascañas' turn, the supposed dance instructor turned up alive.)