Duterte to face raps for Davao killings?
Mike Frialde (The Philippine Star) - March 11, 2016 - 9:00am

LOS BAÑOS, Laguna, Philippines – Charges are reportedly being readied against Davao City Mayor and presidential aspirant Rodrigo Duterte for  his alleged involvement in extrajudicial killings in the city, his camp said yesterday.

Duterte shrugged off the story, saying he has become a political target as the elections approach.

“Be my guest. There is no evidence. It is all politics,” he said.

Akbayan Rep. Ibarra Gutierrez, administration coalition spokesman, said they had nothing to do with it and that it was actually the mayor who had publicly admitted killing 1,700 people.

“I have not heard anything about this, so I cannot say whether it is true or simply another figment of Mayor Duterte’s sometimes overactive imagination,” Gutierrez added.

Duterte, who visited University of the Philippines Los Baños chancellor Dr. Fernando Sanchez and met with UPLB biotechnology scientists and rice farmers yesterday, hinted that senatorial candidate Leila de Lima is behind the plan to file the cases. 

Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano, Duterte’s runningmate, said the timing of the filing of cases is questionable.

“That (extrajudicial killing issue) has been investigated for the last seven or eight years without any result. They (Commission on Human Rights and the Department of Justice) investigated it for years. They used all their resources and found nothing. And then, just as election day nears, a witness surfaces. People are intelligent. They knew the timing of this,” Cayetano declared.

Peter Laviña, spokesman for Duterte, said they consider the possible filing of charges “a serious cause for concern.”

“We see the desperate hands of administration bets who are threatened by the surge in the popularity and voter preference for Duterte whose numbers continue to rise in all surveys,” Laviña wrote in a statement.

He added that the ploy to resurrect the worn-out allegations against the mayor is “a vain and desperate attempt to stop that momentum.”

The charges allegedly uses the affidavits executed by a ranking police officer and the supposed self-confessed gunmen. – With Robertzon Ramirez, Alexis Romero

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