President Rodrigo Duterte ordered to have mosques bombed after the Davao Cathedral bombing in 1993, claimed a witness at the Senate probe on extra-judicial killings on Thursday.
“Noong 1993, ‘yung Cathedral ng Davao binomba kaya umorder si Mayor Duterte na masakerin ang mga mosque ng Muslim. Ako ang tumapon ng granada sa Bangkerohan,” said Edgar Matobato, as quoted by GMA News Online.
Fortunately, the bombing did not lead to any casualties because no one was in the mosque then.
“Walang tao, walang simba kaya walang naging casualty,” he said.
Matobato added that he was certain it was Duterte who ordered the mosque bombings because he was in the same when the then Davao City mayor made the order. He added that he had a close relationship then with the city officials.
“Si Mayor Duterte, Ma’am. Nandon lang ako sa opisina kasama ko ang mga opisyal. Parang gumaganti dahil binomba ang Cathedral,” he said.
He added that he was one of those men ordered to apprehend the suspects of the cathedral bombing and kill them.
“Pagkatapos bumomba sa simbahan ng mga Muslim, makalipas ang ilang araw nag-utos siya na ang mga suspek na Muslim hulihin niyo at patayin niyo. Inabangan namin ang mga Muslim at pinagpapatay namin. Inilibing namin sa quarry na pag-aari ni Ding Laud,” he said.
Among the people the group killed was a certain Salik Makdum, whom they abducted from the Island City of Samal in 2002.
Matobato said that they presented Makdum to then-Davao PAOCTF-head and now PNP chief Director General Ronad dela Rosa. He added that they then killed Makdum and buried him in a quarry owned by a policeman after chopping him into pieces.
Matobato also revealed that he was a member of the seven-man Lambada Boys liquidation team founded in 1988 and which later became known as the Davao Death Squad (DDS).
“Ang trabaho namin ay pumatay ng mga criminal katulad ng drug pusher, rapist, snatcher. Ganyan ang pinapatay naming araw araw,” he said.
Matobato said that the death squad members were ghost employees at the Davao City Hall, as part of the “Civil Security Unit.”
He added that he was a part of the Civilian Armed Forces Geographical Units (CAFGU) in 1982.
“Noong 1993 dumami kami. Kasama na ang rebel returnees pati pulis,” he added.
The Davao Death Squad are alleged to be a vigilante group operating in Davao City and suspected to be responsible behind the summary executions of suspects of petty crimes and illegal drug trade in the city.