MANILA — Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said Thursday the latest allegations made against President Rodrigo Duterte will neither affect the war against drugs and criminality, nor would it deter him from achieving his vision for the country.
“Duterte’s platform is the desire to have a peaceful, crime-free and corruption-free nation. And that is not affected, that vision is not changed,” Abella said.
During Thursday’s hearing of the Senate Committee on Justice and Human Rights, a witness has alleged among others that President Duterte was behind the Davao Death Squad (DDS) and had ordered extrajudicial killings when he was still mayor of Davao City.
Edgar Matobato, who claimed to be a former DDS member, further alleged that Duterte ordered the bomb attack on a mosque sometime in 1993 in retaliation for the bomb blast at the Davao Cathedral.
The Senate Committee on Justice and Human Rights is chaired by Senator Leila de Lima.
De Lima was former head of the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) and former secretary of the Department of Justice (DOJ), two government agencies that earlier investigated the same allegations when she was at the helm.
However, both investigations found no direct link to then mayor Duterte and no charges were filed against him.
In the meantime, Abella said that despite the allegations, the people should continue to support President Duterte’s vision for the country.
“The President continues to exercise political will. And I believe that we all need to continue rallying around the desire to have a nation that is for everyone and that there is space for everyone,” Abella said. Cielito Reganit/PNA/northboundasia.com