Alvarez a ‘DDS’ – Diehard Duterte Supporter

Gilbert Bayoran - The Philippine Star

BACOLOD CITY, Philippines – Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez proudly declares membership in the “DDS” – not the Davao death squads, which he claims do not exist, but Diehard Duterte Supporters.

Alvarez said there are no death squads in Davao as he branded self-proclaimed squad member Edgar Matobato as a “recycled witness.”

Matobato appeared at the Senate hearing on extrajudicial killings Thursday, implicating President Duterte and son Paolo, now Davao vice mayor, in alleged summary killings when Duterte was mayor of the city.

“DDS does not exist; the only DDS I know is the Diehard Duterte Supporters, and I’m one of them,” Alvarez said, alluding to the 16.6 million people who voted for the President last May.

Alvarez, who met with incoming members of PDP-Laban in Negros Occidental at a hotel here, also questioned the motive of Sen. Leila de Lima in spearheading the Senate hearing on the killings, which the lady senator linked to Duterte’s declared war against drugs.

Alvarez said he wants to know the “true motive” behind Matobato’s testimony, as he slammed De Lima for inaction during her stint as justice secretary and head of the Commission on Human Rights.

“If indeed there was a crime committed based on the investigation, then she should have filed the case in the past,” Alvarez said, apparently referring to investigations De Lima initiated on the alleged Davao Death Squad, when she was at the helm of the CHR and the justice department.

Alvarez said he also believes De Lima might be using the hearings as a cover-up, since the House inquiry on the proliferation of illegal drugs is about to begin.

“I think De Lima already knows who those witnesses are; that’s why she’s been making a lot of noise in the Senate hearing,” Alvarez said. “She’s making it look like she’s being persecuted — of course not.”

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