Lascañas testimony only ‘for media mileage’ — Sotto

MANILA — Senate Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III on Monday said the Senate inquiry into the testimony of retired cop SP03 Arturo Lascañas on the so-called vigilante group Davao Death Squad (DDS)) will only be for media mileage.

In an interview with reporters before the start of the Senate inquiry, Sotto said that was quite sure that the Senate Committee on Public Order and Dangerous Drugs will not get any “corroborative value” from it.

“Talagang pang media mileage na ito. Sa tingin ko walang corroborative value kaming makukuha dito (This is really only for media mileage. I think we won’t get any corroborative value from this),” Sotto told reporters in an interview.

Sotto also said that it could also somewhat be “entertainment value” for critics of the Duterte administration.

He, however, assured that the committee, which is chaired by Sen. Panfilo Lacson, will thoroughly review Lascañas’ testimony.

Last February 20, Lascañas claimed that there indeed was a death squad and that he merely lied during a previous Senate hearing in October 2016 when he first denied its existence.

Lascañas claimed that the death squad killed criminals and non-criminals in Davao city to maintain peace and order.

He said that he was ordered by his colleague, SPO4 Sonny Buenaventura, to deny everything what self-confessed hitman Edgar Matobato said on the alleged existence of the death squad.

The former cop also said that he previously lied because he feared for the life of his family but is now determined to tell the truth to clear his conscience.