Several reports have claimed that Arturo Lascañas, the former Davao police officer who accused President Rodrigo Duterte of ordering the killings by death squads, has expressed regret over trusting Senator Antonio Trillanes IV.
According to the reports picked up by blogs such as trendingtopicsph.net, dutertards.net, and pinoyreaders.info, Lascañas said he suffered from a chaotic life after trusting Trillanes.
He was even quoted saying, “My wife told me not to trust him (Trillanes). I should’ve listened to him. Perhaps, we have a normal life now and enjoying my retirement benefits.”
Lascañas left the Philippines in the evening of April 8, 2017 for his safety after receiving threats and information that people are looking for him. He even asked the Inquirer to withhold his location even if the government knew where he was headed because he filled out his immigration form properly. It was later disclosed that he left for Singapore.
The reports also came with an 11-minute YouTube video, which covered the following topics:
- Justice Secretary Aguirre ordered the NBI to capture Lascañas.
- Trillanes opposed Aguirre’s order above for the NBI to work with Interpol to catch Lascañas.
- Palace released a statement calling Lascañas’ accusations against Duterte as a part of a demolition job against the President.
- Communications Secretary Martin Andanar dismissed accusations linking Duterte to extrajudicial killings.
- At mark 3:19, someone asked Lascañas if he had any regret, to which the former police officer said, “None.” Here’s a part of their conversation:
TV5 Interviewer: May pagsisisi ho kayo kahit konting-konti?
I: Talaga sir?
I: Kahit pinagdadaanan niyo to?
L: Lahat. Nagpasalamat nga ako na hindi ko madala itong the dark side of my person na namatay ako na hindi ko ito na-expose o nasabi. Kasi talagang wala siguro akong pakawala. Pero noong nasabi ko ito lahat, lahat ng gusto ko na magkaroon ako ng isang public confession, gumawa ako ng isang written confession, satisfied po ako. Wala akong pagsisisi, wala. Very satisfied ako.
I: Sir, nakakuha kami ng detalye na kasama ninyo po ang pamilyo ninyo dito sa Singapore. Tama po, Sir?
L: Siguro i-silent ko lang muna iyon.
L: For their safety.
I: Okay lang, Sir. Pero kumusta po iyong pamilya ninyo ngayon? How are they taking this? Nagtatago kayo.
L: Sila mismo nagtatago rin. Saka, na-accept na rin nila. Siyempre, sa una is, masakit at masama ang loob nila sa akin.
I: Masama ang loob sa inyo? Bakit po?
L: Siyempre, noon nalaman na ganito pala ang trabaho ko at saka nalagay din sa risk yung buhay nila. Pero sa ngayon is na-accept na nila. Ang sabi ko nga, kagustuhan ito ng Diyos…
And the interview continues, where he said that he was worried over the safety of his family because he knows what the death squad and Duterte are capable of, he knew Duterte and his capacity to kill people, and he was willing to testify against the death squads and Duterte. He added that he is still alive up to now and remained unhurt in the Philippines because no one really knew where he hid, he decided to move abroad when he received reports that he is targeted, he was a bit nervous at the airport, but he was not scared. He only prayed.
Asked whether he was scared, he said that he was scared for the physical harm that might be inflicted upon him and his family, which he considered normal for a man in his situation, and of course, he feared God. But he stood firm that he is not scared of how he would prove that Duterte was indeed involved with the Davao death squad.
Lascañas said that he already accepted the fact that he would be charged over killing people while in DDS.
He also said that he is “very much willing” to testify in the case filed against Duterte before the International Criminal Court.
Based on the portion of the interview transcribed above, Lascañas did not regret coming out with his expose against Duterte. Nowhere was it cited in the video that he regretted trusting Trillanes.
Despite the dubious and unverified nature of the online reports though, they were still shared by Facebook pages such as “Dutertards” and “Inday Sara Duterte Supporters,” among other pages.
Even one of the blogs that carried the online report also carried other fake stories, such as those about BBC anchor Stephen Sackur urging Filipinos to vote for smarter government officials and Trillanes bowing his head down to apologize to his fellow senators whom he called “puppets” of the Duterte administration.