Retired Senior Police Officer 3 (SPO3) Arturo Lascanas, a self-confessed member of the Davao Death Squad (DDS), on Monday vowed to come out with more explosive revelations soon.
According to Lascanas, what he had already disclosed to the public about the killings carried out by the DDS is “just the tip of a bloody iceberg.”
In a 12-page affidavit, submitted to the office of Senator Panfilo Lacson on Monday, Lascañas explained that he was forced to deny the existence of the DDS during a Senate hearing on extrajudicial killings in 2016 due to fear for the safety of his family.
Copies of the affidavit were also released to media by the office of Senator Antonio Trillanes IV.
Lacson, chair of the Senate Public Order and Dangerous Drugs Committee, has accepted its assignment to look into the allegations of Lascañas that then Davao City mayor Rodrigo Duterte liquidated crime suspects or his enemies through his DDS.
Lascañas’ affidavit was executed one day before he appeared in a press conference at the Senate last February 20.
In his affidavit, Lascañas admitted that when he appeared before the Senate last year, he denied the accusations made by Edgar Matobato, a confessed hitman, about the extrajudicial killings in Davao City and the DDS.
“I was forced to deny what Matobato said, even if most of it was true, because I was afraid for the safety and security of my loved ones in Davao City,” said Lascañas.
He admitted that he was a major player in the group that came to be known as DDS.
“I was present when then Mayor Rodrigo Roa Duterte of Davao City ordered the killing of numerous men and women, and gave us reward money after we executed them. I was responsible for the killing of many men and women, and at least one child, upon the instructions of Mayor Duterte,” he said.
He then expressed regret and added that “what I know I have to answer for all of my misdeeds before the people, the law, and before God.”
President Rodrigo Duterte vehemently denied Lascañas claim saying that he did not order the forming of a task force to assassinate criminals in Davao City.
Duterte said he does not play favorites in the security forces and that he relays his directives to police chiefs.
“There is no task force. You can see that I give the orders to the chief, to Bato (nickname of Philippine National Police chief Ronald dela Rosa). Wala akong bata-bata na ganoon (I don’t play favorites). Even in the military,” he said.
“Didn’t I say it? Every now and then, do not create a cult or rido (clash). I do not need it. I said, I do not need it, I do not like it,” he added.