DAVAO CITY—Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte and his aunt Jocelyn Duterte both denied the allegations of Senate witness Edgar Matobato, who said Paolo, the oldest son of President Rodrigo Duterte, was behind the killing of hotelier Richard King and was involved in other illegal activities.
In the absence of proof, the vice mayor said, all allegations against him should be considered as hearsay.
“What [Senator Leila] de Lima and this certain Matobato say in public are bare allegations and mere hearsay. I will not dignify the accusations of a madman with an answer,” he said.
During Thursday’s Senate hearing, Matobato said the vice mayor was also behind the rice smuggling in Davao and that he was even a drug user.
On Sept. 6, Paolo and 21 councilors took a mandatory drug test, and all of them tested negative for any form of illegal drugs.
The younger Duterte said he was ready to undergo yet another drug test.
The older sister of President Duterte, Jocelyn, also denied Matobato’s testimony that then Mayor Duterte had ordered him to kill her boyfriend, a dance instructor.
“It is not true. There was no DI who was killed–I will sue him and Senator De Lima as well. I demand an apology,” she said.
“I am a private individual and I can’t understand why my name is being dragged into this Senate hearing. It is degrading because everything that the witness said are all lies,” she said.
She said that she feels helpless right now since she cannot defend herself.
She also blamed De Lima for the allegations of Matobato, saying that if the senator verified Matobato’s claim, the scenario would have been different.
DCPO chief Sr. Supt. Michael John Dubria said the allegations against police officers who were allegedly involved in different extrajudicial killings in Davao City will be considered hearsay unless the witness can present concrete evidence.
Matobato mentioned Chief Inspector Ronald Lao and Supt. Antonio Rivera among others who were allegedly involved in extrajudicial killings.
Dubria said that if the witness can present concrete evidence, the police officers might face criminal charges.
“Extrajudicial killings are illegal and not tolerated,” he said.
Dubria also said the jailed suspects in the killing of King were not fall guys.
Brothers Rommel and Rodel dela Cerna and Paul Dave Molina Labang were jailed following King’s killing. Labang confessed that he was hired by Supt. Leonardo Felonia to kill the Cebu-based businessman.
Dubria also said that he was the station commander of Talomo PNP when then Commission on Human Rights chairman Leila de Lima went to Maa, Davao City to investigate the alleged extrajudicial killings.
He said that there was no truth to the words of Matobato that there was a planned ambush against the team of De Lima.
King was killed inside his office on June 12, 2014.
Matobato said that King was killed in a hotel then changed his statement to say it was at a McDonald’s. He also said that in 2013 he was tortured to be the fall guy in King’s killing.
In his testimony, Matobato also said Duterte had ordered them to bomb mosques in Davao City.