Two-hundred bullets fired into an official. A corpse-eating crocodile.
A billionaire killed in a lover’s tiff.They’re just some of the shocking allegations made by self-professed hitman Edgar Matobato before a Senate Inquiry into extrajudicial killings in the Philippines Thursday.
Matabato claims he was part of a death squad run on the orders of President Rodrigo Duterte while he was still mayor of Davao City.
Duterte’s office denies the claims.
Matobato said a gunfight erupted after he and another member of the death squad got in an argument with a man named Amisola, an official with the country’s National Bureau of Investigation.
“He wasn’t killed instantly. But eventually, he ran out of bullets,” Matobato said. “We then cornered him, but it was Mayor Duterte who finished him off. Mayor Duterte arrived to kill Amisola.”
Duterte unloaded two magazines of an Uzi submachine gun on Amisola, according to Matobato.
“He must have finished 200 bullets,” Matobato said.
More than 1,000 people were killed by the death squad in Davao City while Duterte was mayor from 1988 until 2013, Matobato said.
They were killed by the Davao Death Squad, he said. It began as a smaller “liquidation squad” with seven people, including Matobato, but then grew in 1993 to include police members and eventually reached a membership of 300 strong.
Matobato said he personally killed about 50 people.
The DDS didn’t just kill – they were brutal about it, Matobato testified.
One was fed to a crocodile.
Victims’ bodies were mutilated and then dumped on the side of the road.
And many times the bodies were wrapped plastic to avoid identification, he said.
The mosque reprisal
In 1993, six people were killed in a December attack on the Davao City Cathedral.
Hours later, reports emerged about a mosque being attacked, though there were no casualties.
According to Matobato, that mosque attack was ordered by Duterte – he was furious about the church blast, and would go on to order his hit squad to arrest and kill Muslim suspects a few days later.
Matobato and his gang eventually staked out there suspects, arrested them, killed them and buried the bodies in a quarry, he said.
Billionaire hotelier Richard King was shot dead in June 2014.
His killing, Matobato says, was done on the order of Duterte’s son Paolo. And it was over a woman.
Paolo Duterte is now the vice mayor of Davao.
He responded with a statement: “What de Lima and this certain Matobato say in public are bare allegations in the absence of proof. They are mere hearsay. I will not dignify with an answer the accusations of a madman.”
The King family’s legal counsel, Deolito Alvarez, called the accusations “completely false” in a text message to CNN.
Duterte’s office denies all claims.
CNN’s Christy Leung, Chieu Luu, Tiffany Ap and Kathy Quiano contributed to this report