Senate probe of drug war looks like a 'demolition job,' analyst says


Posted at Sep 17 2016 04:23 PM

MANILA - A Senate investigation that linked President Rodrigo Dutere to alleged vigilante killings in Davao City during his term appeared like a "demolition job," since the witness sounded like he was "coached," a political analyst said Saturday.

Self-confessed hitman Edgar Matobato could not substantiate his claim that Duterte orchestrated the murders of suspected criminals and political opponents in the city when he was questioned by Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano, said University of Sto. Tomas political science professor Edmund Tayao.

"Clearly, it's a demolition job. When I was listening to the investigation, there's no other way to think of but as a demolition job," Tayao told ANC.

"For a while I thought the witness was very consistent with what he was saying but when he was already being asked on some supposedly common knowledge, suddenly he doesn't know anything about it. Clearly, he was coached," Tayao said.

READ: What a self-confessed DDS hitman told the Senate

Sen. Leila de Lima, a long-time critic of Duterte, is leading the Senate investigation on the hundreds of deaths linked to the President's war on drugs.

Cayetano, a Duterte ally, ran as his vice president in the May elections. He lost to Vice President Leni Robredo.

De Lima, whom Duterte accused of receiving kickbacks from drug lords, should conduct the investigation in such a way that it would not look like a demolition job, said University of the Philippines Political Science assistant professor Jean Franco.

"I think Sen. De Lima should not stop rather she should see to it that the investigation has a direction and the direction should be in aid of legislation so it should not be perceived by the public as a demolition job against the president," she said in a separate interview on ANC.

The next senate hearing will be on Tuesday (Sept.20).