DAVAO CITY, Philippines — The head official of the Davao City Police Office said they will allow police personnel tagged in extra judicial killings inquiry to testify against senate witness Edgar Matobato, a self-confessed hitman of the Davao Death Squad.
Sr. Supt. Michael John Dubria said the police personnel who were being dragged by Matobato in his testimony, did not have to ask permission if they want to testify against the Senator Leila De Lima’s senate witness testimony at the Senate probe.
Dubria said he received a phone call from a senior officer in Camp Rafael Crame, Quezon City who tried to get the side of the DCPO police officials named by Matobato.
Matobato, during the Senate probe on the spate of killings in the country related to the government’s anti-drug war on September 15, named 19 police officers allegedly linked to DDS, seven of whom are presently under the DCPO. They are SPO4 Arthur Lascanas, Police Senior Superintendent Tony Rivera, Police Chief Inspector Ronald Lao, SPO3 Jim Tan, SPO1 Reynante B. Medina, SPO1 Vivencio Jumawan, and SPO3 Donito Ubales. DCPO spokesperson Sr. Inspector Catherine Dela Rey said Lascanas is on non-duty status.
Dubria said that he received a phone call with a senior officer in Camp Rafael Crame, Quezon City trying to get the side of the DCPO police officials identified by Matobato.
“They were given an option, whether to attend or to hold the inquiry in Camp Crame or here in Davao City,” he said.
Dubria said the police officers “are yet to receive the formal summon or order for these officers to attend and to proceed to the Senate inquiry.”
In an interview with a radio station, SPO4 Lascanas said that he is willing to be a witness to clear his name.
Dubria then said that if Lascanas wanted to become a witness then he will be allowed to clear his name.
“They can go and clear their names,they can have a group action or one statement or be presented by a lawyer,” he said.
“This is an accusation already meaning it needs a legal action but to the officials, they are saying that the accusations are not true and Matobato was just lying,” he added.
Dubria said that among the police officers named by Matobato he was only able to talk to Lao and Rivera.
“They are apprehensive since their names were (implicated) and Rivera is about to retire and it will affect his retirement so they are concerned on the allegations and accusations of Matobato,” he said.
Dubria said that if the accused police officials will attend the senate inquiry, the order from the Philippine National Police chief Ronald Dela Rosa must passed through him first so that they will not have to file a leave of absence.
The other police officials named by Matobato were Police Chief Inspector Jacy “Jay” Francia of the Presidential Security Group, Police Chief Inspector Fulgencio Pavo, SPO4 Sanson “Sonny” Buenaventura, SPO1 Bienvenido Furog, SPO2 Enrique “Jun” Delos Reyes Ayao, SPO3 Jun Laresma, SPO2 Rizalino “Bobong” Aquino, SPO1 Jun Bisnar, SPO1 Gaston Aquino, Police Senior Superindent Isidero “Dick” Florivel/Florobel, Police Senior Superintendent Rey Capote, and Police Senior Superintendent Dionisio Abude.(davaotoday.com)