Ombudsman: Probe on hitman's murder, kidnapping charges vs top officials set

Adrian Ayalin, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 31 2017 07:35 PM | Updated as of Aug 31 2017 07:52 PM

Ombudsman inhibits from case

MANILA- The Office of the Ombudsman has set the preliminary investigation on the complaint that self-confessed hitman Edgar Matobato filed against President Rodrigo Duterte and several other officials for alleged involvement in vigilante killings.

“I will confirm that it came to my knowledge that preliminary investigation has been set,” Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales told reporters Thursday.

Morales, however, said she is not privy to details of the case as she has inhibited herself from the investigation.

“I have inhibited myself from the case because one of those who were charged by Matobato was the President. So naturally, I inhibited,” Morales said.

Morales is the aunt of Mans Carpio, husband of the President's daughter, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte.

An Ombudsman source told ABS-CBN News that Duterte has been dropped from the list of respondents because of his immunity from suit. 

In December, Matobato filed a murder and kidnapping complaint against the President, his eldest son Davao City Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte, Philippine National Police Chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa and 25 others.

In the complaint, Matobato alleged that Duterte, a long-time Davao City Mayor, had formed a hit squad called the "Lambada Boys" or the Davao Death Squad (DDS) in 1998.

Matobato, a confessed member of the group, said the DDS killed suspected criminals, including drug pushers and addicts, rapists, thieves and snatchers. More than 1,000 people were killed by the group between 1998 and 2013, he alleged.

Matobato also accused former Davao City police officials close to the President as members of the DDS.

The President and the other alleged DDS members have all denied Matobato’s claims.

In April, Matobato, through his lawyer Jude Sabio, filed a complaint against Duterte before the International Criminal Court, tagging the President a "mass murderer." 

Duterte shrugged off the complaint, saying he was ready to go to jail.