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DEADLY SHIFT | De Lima: Duterte transposing Davao Death Squad to Presidential Death Squad

Senator Leila de Lima (facing camera) chastising police officers at the Senate inquiry into extrajudicial killings. Photographed by Mong Pintola, InterAksyon
The online news portal of TV5

MANILA - By his implied pronouncement that the killing of drug lord Albuera Mayor Rolando Espinosa inside his prison cell was upon his order, President Rodrigo Duterte has dogmatically transposed the term Davao Death Squad (DDS) into Presidential Death Squad (PDD), Senator Leila De Lima said on Thursday.

In a statement, De Lima said that President Duterte's admission says it all about extrajudicial killings: "The President, in a speech yesterday, said: 'Hindi ko pababayaan ang mga pulis na ito dahil ako ang may utos,' referring to the CIDG team who, according to the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), summarily executed Mayor Rolando Espinosa. That is an admission that he is the mastermind of such extra-judicial killing (EJK)."

"That says it all about the EJK phenomenon," De Lima added.

The beleaguered senator pointed out that, along with witness Edgar Matobato's testimony on the Davao Death Squad (DDS) during a Senate legislative inquiry, Duterte's pronouncement "seals his fate as the Father of all EJKs, first in Davao City, now throughout the entire Philippines, with the number of his victims now beyond the five thousand mark, and still rising."

This also means, De Lima said, "that P/Supt. Marvin Marcos et al comprise part of the expanded DDS, which is now national in scope and operation. Nothing can be clearer than that. What we now have is a Presidential Death Squad."

"There is no more basis to dismiss Matobato's testimony or to clear the President of his role in the EJKs. I think this also puts to a close the Senate investigation on who ordered the killing of Mayor Espinosa." De Lima said.

She said that "now we all know that the order and command to murder Espinosa in cold blood came from none other than the President himself."

"People of the Philippines, your President is a murderer," De Lima said.

"Let us pray that our President starts fearing God and respecting the gift of life in this season of love and hope."