President ‘shot dead official as he ordered 1,000 rivals and gangsters killed’

Philippines president Rodrigo Duterte ordered the killings of about 1,000 criminals and political opponents while he was a city mayor and even shot one of them himself, a former assassin has testified. The claims against the outspoken populist leader were made by Edgar Matobato, who told the country’s Senate that he personally carried out about 50 abductions and deadly assaults. One of the victims - a suspected kidnapper - was apparently fed alive to a crocodile in 2007. Others were garroted, burned, quartered and then buried at a quarry, while some were dumped at sea to be eaten by fish, the 57-year-old alleged.

Our job was to kill drug pushers, rapists, snatchers… we’d remove their clothes, burn the bodies and chop them up

Killer Edgar Matobato

Mr Matobato told the Senate that criminals were not the only targets of the president’s killing spree while he was mayor of Davao City. One was apparently the boyfriend of Mr Duterte’s sister, another was a local broadcaster who had criticised him and four were a local rival’s bodyguards. He also claimed that on one occasion Mr Duterte shot a justice department official in 1993 during a gunfight at a roadblock. “Mayor Duterte was the one who finished him off,” Mr Matobato said. “He emptied two Uzi magazines on him.” The president’s spokesman has dismissed the allegations.

I will not dignify with an answer the accusations of a madman.

Mr Duterte’s son Paolo, who was also implicated in the killings