MANILA – A Senate witness claiming to have worked as an assassin for then Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte claimed Thursday that the long-time mayor ordered the killing of hard-hitting commentator Jun Pala.
Edgar Matobato said it was Duterte who ordered the killing of Pala in 2003, contrary to reports that the New People’s Army was behind it.
“Parang binabakbakan siya sa radio araw-araw. Kasali ako doon sa operation pero hindi ako umabot sa operation. Sa plano na lang ako,” Matobato told a Senate hearing.
(Pala was hitting Duterte everyday. I was part of the operation to kill Pala but I did not make it. I became part of the planning stage.)
“Pinalabas din na NPA. Paano papasok ang NPA at mang-aambush sa sentro ng Davao eh ang daming pulis? Kasi kontrolado ang NPA doon sa Davao. Kasi kaibigan yun ni Mayor Duterte, ang NPA.”
(It was made to appear that the NPA was behind the killing. How could it be when the ambush was carried at the heart of Davao City where there were so many policemen? Duterte controls the NPA in Davao.)
According to Matobato, the group which killed Pala was composed of rebel returnees, a certain SPO2 Jun Ayao and SPO3 Jun Laresma.
Duterte once described Pala as a “rotten son of a b****.” He said the commentator was killed for being corrupt.
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