A self-confessed former assassin tells a Philippines Senate hearing on extrajudicial killings that he heard President Rodrigo Duterte give orders on summary executions of political opponents in his hometown. Nathan Frandino reports.
Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte is now well known for his brutal crackdown on drug users and dealers, but self-confessed former hit-man Edgar Matobato, says there's more to Duterte than that. He told a senate hearing that Duterte ordered the murders of political opponents when he was mayor of Davao City, starting in the late eighties. (SOUNDBITE)(Filipino) HIT-MAN, EDGAR MATOBATO, SAYING: "The killings in Davao City started from 1988 to 2013. I think we have killed over a thousand people in Davao City alone." Matobato said the targets included Senator Leila de Lima, seated at the hearing table. (SOUNDBITE) (Filipino) SELF PROCLAIMED HIT-MAN, EDGAR MATOBATO, SAYING: "They decided and ordered to ambush you." DE LIMA ASKING: "Who decided to ambush me?" "Mayor Duterte." DE LIMA ASKING: "How did you know?" "We were told about it inside the office. So we stayed there waiting for you, but you did not go up and just stayed at the entrance, so we just stayed there waiting." Rights groups say Duterte's current crackdown on drug users and dealers bears the same hallmarks as the suspicious killings in Davao. In the past 10 weeks, more than 3,500 people have been killed. Duterte has repeatedly denied involvement in vigilantism as either mayor or president. Though he's vowed to continue his crackdown until every last drug producer is gone.