Self-confessed hitman: Duterte ordered ambush of De Lima in 2009

  • A self-confessed assassin revealed they were ordered to ambush Senator Leila De Lima and her team back in 2009
  • He admitted the order came from President Rodrigo Duterte who was the Davao City Mayor then
  • He also confessed to have been ordered to kill broadcaster Jun Pala in 2003 and Nograles’ bodyguards in 2010

MANILA, Philippines – A self-confessed killer who claims to be a former member of the dreaded Davao Death Squad (DDS) has revealed that President Rodrigo Duterte ordered the ambush of Senator De Lima and her team back in 2009.

Edgar Matobato, a former CAFGU and alleged original member of the liquidation squad “Lambada Boys”, told a Senate inquiry on Thursday that then Davao City Mayor Duterte ordered the vigilante group to stage an ambush of De Lima during her visit to a reported mass grave inside the property of one PO2 Laud in 2009.

De Lima, who was then the chairperson of the Commission on Human Rights (CHR), was investigating the alleged extra-judicial killings in the city attributed to Duterte and his DDS.

“Noong hinukay niyo ‘yung sa Ma-a, inabangan ka namin. Pumasok kayo, naka-ambush position kami doon. Buti na lang, umalis kayo,” Matobato narrated, referring to the quarry site owned by Laud and is believed to be where victims of EJK were buried.

[When you started digging up in Ma-a, we waited for you. When you entered, we were already on an ambush position. It’s good that you left.]

De Lima confirmed for the record that they indeed visited the place upon receiving a tip that bodies were buried in the Laud property. She said they have uncovered some remains in the area.

When asked who ordered to ambush her team, Matobato admitted the order came from Duterte.

“Si Mayor Duterte po. Kinausap niya kami sa opisina namin. Pumunta kami doon, pero hindi ka na pumasok sa itaas, ma’am. Doon lang kayo sa entrada pumasok. Doon kami nagaabang na,” he said.

[It was Mayor Duterte. He spoke to us inside our office. We went there, but you did not enter. You just stayed at the entrance. We were waiting there.]

In the same hearing, Matobato also confessed Duterte ordered the killing of criminals like drug pushers, rapist and snatchers, and the bombings of mosques to ‘massacre’ Muslims, among others.

He also confessed to have been ordered to kill the four bodyguards of former House Speaker Prospero Nograles in 2010, a certain Salik Malud in 2002 and broadcaster Jun Pala in 2003.

The liquidation squad allegedly started as a small group called “Lambada Boys” consisting of seven people, but eventually grew into a large vigilante group whose members include rebel returnees and police personnel.

Watch the video below via CNN Philippines: