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Lascañas’ integrity questioned

Ex-cop admits killing around 300; Palace doubts credibility


by Mario B. Casayuran, Hannah L. Torregoza, and Elena L. Aben

Teary-eyed and repentant, retired Senior Police Officer 3 Arturo Lascañas appeared anew yesterday before a Senate inquiry and admitted to a series of killings perpetuated by the so-called Davao Death Squad (DDS).

The former Davao policeman said he killed around 200 to 300 persons during his career, most of which were part of the operations of the DDS.

“The reason I made a public confession last week is because of my desire to tell all the truth not only because of my spiritual renewal but I wanted to clear my conscience… because of my sincerity to put my loved ones and myself (out of harm’s way),” Lascañas, who expressed fears for the safety of his family, told the Senate Public Order and Dangerous Drugs Committee chaired by Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson.

Embracing the name of Jesus Christ, Lascañas said he could not bring his sins and evil secrets to his tomb “due to my following the orders of (then) mayor (Rodrigo) Duterte and his sincere campaign against crime and illegal drugs.”

‘SPIRITUAL AWAKENING’ – Retired SPO3 Arthur Lascañas is administered the oath before testifying in the Senate inquiry on the alleged links of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte to the Davao Death Squad yesterday. He is flanked by lawyers Pablito (left) and Arno Sanidad. (Ali Vicoy | Manila Bulletin)

‘SPIRITUAL AWAKENING’ – Retired SPO3 Arthur Lascañas is administered the oath before testifying in the Senate inquiry on the alleged links of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte to the Davao Death Squad yesterday. He is flanked by lawyers Pablito (left) and Arno Sanidad. (Ali Vicoy | Manila Bulletin)

He said his blind loyalty and obedience to then mayor Duterte led him to give the go-signal to his fellow policemen and members of the DDS to have his brothers – Cecilio and Fernando – liquidated because they became protectors of the illegal drug trade that Duterte hated.

But senators told Lascañas to back up his claims against President Duterte with solid proof and present other witnesses who would corroborate his testimony before the Senate Public Order and Dangerous Drugs Committee.

“I can only advise you SPO3 Lascañas, if the objective of your extra-judicial confession is to make sure President Rodrigo Duterte and other personalities would be held liable under the law, it would be best if you present other (pieces of) evidence apart from your statement,” said Lacson.

“If you have none, you would only waste the time of the people here because your testimony and our hearing today would all be for nothing, especially against the people you are incriminating in your testimony,” the senator said.


During his testimony, Lascañas also cited an incident in which Duterte allegedly ordered the killing of 11 Chinese nationals who were arrested in a drug raid at a drug laboratory one New Year’s Eve.

During the raid, Lascañas said six Chinese nationals were killed while 11 others – including seven males and four females, were arrested.

The 11 were taken to a quarry where they were eventually killed. He identified one of the 11 Chinese nationals as Allan Sy who even allegedly tried to offer them money.

According to Lascañas, Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Ronald Dela Rosa, who was then with the Davao City police, knew about their operations.

He cited the instance when they killed a Taiwanese national and owner of a KTV bar, who as they later learned, had a rift with one Charlie Tan.

Lascañas likewise revealed the human side of Dela Rosa, citing one instance when he stopped the liquidation of two companions of a most wanted criminal in Davao City.

“Huwag mong ituloy. Kawawa naman sila,” Lascañas quoted Dela Rosa as telling him.

Lascañas claimed he was allegedly ordered by Duterte to kill the companion of Felicisimo Cunanan Jr., alias “Sergeant Sese,” tagged as Davao’s most wanted, during an operation with the Highway Patrol Group when Dela Rosa was then the Davao City police director.


But Presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella dismissed Lascañas’ latest testimony against President Duterte as “fabricated and unacceptable.”

“Arthur Lascañas has proven himself to be a polluted source and perjured witness. We, therefore, regard his testimony now as fabricated and unacceptable,” Abella said.

“First, self-confessed killer Mr. Arturo Lascanas denied the existence of the DDS during a Senate investigation hearing. Now, the same retired police officer would return to the Senate to expose the DDS,” he said.

The President had earlier admitting meeting Lascañas twice but denied giving orders to murder criminals through the DDS.

The Palace dismissed Lascañas’ claims as part of the demolition job by opponents seeking to overthrow the government. It claimed that the President has already been cleared from alleged involvement in the DDS by the Commission on Human Rights, the Office of the Ombudsman, and a Senate justice panel, stressing that the latest character assassination is part of “vicious politics.”


In the same hearing, Lascañas apologized to the senators for lying when he denied the existence of the infamous DDS before the Senate Committee on Justice and Human Rights chaired by Sen. Richard Gordon. He said his decision to recant his earlier testimony was to reveal the “whole truth” about Duterte’s liquidation squad which he allegedly formed in Davao City when he was still the mayor.

But senators could not understand why Lascañas claimed his decision was borne out of his “spiritual renewal” sometime in July or September, 2015, but still decided to lie before the Senate at the time the panel investigated Edgar Matobato’s testimony on October 3, 2016.

Matobato appeared before the joint investigation of the Senate Committees on Justice and Human Rights, and of Public Order on the rampant extra-judicial killings that occurred during Duterte’s intensive war on illegal drugs and confessed to being a hired hitman of the former mayor’s death squad.

“Something doesn’t add up…Your testimony before should have gone first before your testimony here before the Senate. If you have given everything to God, then why the delay on your subsequent actions? I am confused at your actions,” Lacson told Lascañas.

But Lascañas told senators his primary objective was to “clear his conscience because I can’t carry this to the grave.” He also said he feared for the lives of his loved ones.

Lascañas also said their former boss, SPO4 Sonny Buenaventura, whom he said was a close ally of Duterte, had advised him and other police officials whom Matobato implicated in the extra-judicial killings, to deny everything.

But Lacson berated the former Davao city police official, saying he could have chosen to confess his crime before Duterte won the May 2016 presidential elections.

“You could have approached (Senator Grace) Poe or (former Vice President Jejomar) Binay back then… that is true spiritual renewal. You’ve killed hundreds, and you are trying to turn back again to God… so something doesn’t add up,” the senator said.

When Poe asked if he knows someone who can corroborate his statements, Lascañas pointed to Matobato. But she thumbed down his suggestion saying Matobato himself needs him to corroborate his testimony.

“Aside from Matobato, is there someone else, because he too needs someone like you? So you are helping him out by corroborating his statements. What about you? Who can help you?” Poe asked him during the hearing.

Lascañas said SPO4 Dick Cloribel and SPO3 Teodoro Paguidopon, who were part of his core group, could help corroborate his testimony.

For his part, Sen. Joseph Victor “JV” Ejercito questioned Lascañas motives for recanting his testimony after learning that four of his business proposals were turned down by Duterte’s allies.

During the hearing, Ejercito quizzed Lascañas of his attempts to put up several businesses such as getting a small time lottery (STL) franchise, establishing a customs brokerage, application to operate a van terminal and operations in Davao City, and in supplying a quarry for the proposed 53-kilometer Coastal Road in Toril-Bunawan – all of which Lascañas confirmed were rejected by allies of the President after the Oct. 3, 2016 Senate hearing.

“It appears that our witness here ay naka-‘strike 4’ after his retirement. Wala sa apat na nilakad niyang mga pabor para sa business interests ng Davao Group tulad ng STL franchise, van terminal, quarry, at customs brokerage ay napagbigyan. Kaya siguro nagbago siya ng statement at sinisiraan na niya ngayon si President Duterte,” Ejercito said.

But Lascañas denied he was holding a grudge against Duterte because of his failure to set up business.

“No I have no ill-feelings about it sir,” he said. (With a report from Genalyn D. Kabiling)

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  • sunny


    • otoling

      Kare-retire pa lang niya (Lacanas); hinde pa matagal yun, wala pang tatlong taon. Hinde siya nagda-dawit; nagsa-sabi siya ng alam niya. Meron kredibilidad ang sinasabi niyakompara sa sinasabi mo. Tulad kayo ni Pakyaw na tax evader na meron kaso sa pandaraya ng kanyang income takses.
      Papaano nasabi na money talks? Pareho kayo ng tae nila Lacson, JV at Sotto, ambaho-baho.
      Meron ka bang proof na nabayaran siya? Ang sina-sabi ni Lascanas ay puno ng mga proof at meron bangkay at alam niya kung saan niya ibinaun. Betyok ka ba?.

      • mako ali

        Nagsinungaling ka nung una anong dahilan pa para paniwalaan ka pa ngayon! Titig na titig sa mga mata ng mga senador ng sabihin ni lascanas na never syang inutusan ni Duterte pumatay under oath then ilang buwan lang babaligtarin nya lahat! Ano ang papaniwalaan yung una o itong huling revelation. Pera pera lng yan kung sino malaki ibibigay dun sya! May mga tao talagang ganyan kahit sino sasagasaan sa ngalan ng pera!

  • Gisingbayanko

    As expected, the senatongs are now discrediting Lascanas, interested more in how they can exonate the Fentanyl addict than the facts, truth behind the DDS killing spree under the former Davao Mayor.

    No matter how you suppress the truth, it’ll come out for everything hidden will be bared, exposed for everyone to see, know; a guarantee from the Divine Creator Himself.

    • Jeff Jaramillo

      And the truth is that Lascanas is lying. He will lie again and it will just be proven to be lies. The problem is that you consider LIEla delima as your lord

      • Yolanda Santos

        Another certified idiot-ertard.

      • Gisingbayanko

        How do you fight truth?
        Lie pa more, per Joseph Goebbels for the more you repeat the same lie, it becomes truth to the followers, blind supporters, zombies, disillusioned, mesmerized. Typical example is Sen. De Lima whom the Fentanyl addict promised to demonize and put in jail for exposing his EJK, corruption, drug addiction, mockery of due process and the Constitution.

      • Juan Barili

        Which says that Dutardo is also a liar since he is the one who has many times said what others are now trying to deny . His own statements for years cannot be denied, and denied by himself? Laughable.

    • lc

      “I’m for truth, no matter who tells it. I’m for justice, no matter who it is for or against. I’m a human being, first and foremost, and as such I’m for whoever and whatever benefits humanity as a whole.”

      All the back and forth allegations from all parties muddies everything, hard to understand what truth/lies are being told, justice being held in abeyance . Whatever drives them to behave as they do, can’t be attributed to the teachings of the Creator. All these problems were and are being made by man/woman. Since bestowed intelligence and freewill at the time of creations, man/woman has to fix any mess they have been creating themselves since then, and don’t expect Him to do it for. He’ll not save anyone without a permission.

      • Juan Barili

        and money.

        • lc

          Hope not.

          • Juan Barili

            Look to reality. Guaranteed.

          • lc

            There is no guaranty in life except death.

          • Juan Barili

            I can guarantee you that corruption in the Phils government is complete and unchecked. Maybe more than life and death. It is near complete. At most levels we have a corruption scams to steal and plunder from the peoples excessive tax money and the money will end up in a bank account of the corrupt. Look from the top down but never excuse the low level since they also work the system of corruption equally well for their positions.

          • lc

            The last sentence above “He’ll not save anyone without a permission” was for all humanity who failed their moral responsibilities.

            As far as your comment above regarding the government’s failure to function for all Pilipinos, I agree with you. The whole structure of governance set up eons ago was meant to service those in power and the well connected. Corruptions facilitated the accumulation of wealth into the hands of few then, today is no different. These conditions in the country – moral decay of the social order and soaring inequalities – have to change, and that is what it appears President Duterte is trying to accomplish. He needs massive support from Pilipinos considering there are local and international groups exerting their efforts to influence the public and see him fail.

            Beware, there are those who carry the torch for the international elites, and those operating locally are in support of the local elites afraid to loose their comfort and benefits.

            People have to be well verse on their civic duties and participate with the notion that they would be fighting for what is right – the wealth to be shared equitably amongst themselves – and forego money as the determinant of their decision, Chacha as a vehicle for change is a welcome option.

      • Gisingbayanko

        The truth shall set you free if there is contrition, humility, devoid of hidden agenda and honest desire to see the entire picture. For our reality is just a dim, blurred picture of truth as an enigma, a parable; but truth comes when the entire picture is complete, nothing hidden, no hidden agenda so that we to see reality face to face. But it won’t happen in this lifetime with the Fentanyl empowered by the god of this world.

        • lc

          Truth is not conditional, no ifs no buts. The people are bearing witness to the moral decay of society, and the disintegration of social order. The reality is no one seems to hear the cries of the poor and see the injustice done them resolve. President Duterte, with all his shortcomings, appears to have changed the way the government response to problems the country has long endured. To his detractors, he may be called anything, but he is the first Pilipino president who has taken the cause of the Philippines. The rest were Pilipinos in name only as proven by their actions during their time.

          • Gisingbayanko

            Spin pa more, the truth is, he’s been a murderer by heart who’s been fooling the nation by promising to take care of our children. The only way he could escape his conscience is to stay high on Fentanyl.

          • lc

            Who “has been a murderer by heart who’s been fooling the nation”, do you have a name? Are you relying on news media reports, or the testimony of those so called “witnesses” in congress for your information?

          • Gisingbayanko

            You’re a good media spinner who should be employed by the fentanyl addict himself.

          • lc

            Just because you said it doesn’t mean its true.
            Who “has been a murderer by heart who’s been fooling the nation”, do you have a name?

  • Wilbert Santos

    si Delima ganyan, puros Jesus at God, magaling magsinungaling. Eto 200 ang pinatay? ganun ba kalaki ang Davao madaling pumatay ng 200 na tao ? Binayaran ata ni TRILILING ito?

  • Mike_Realism

    2nd commandment….”Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain”….Sen Pacman will be angry with you SP0.

    • lc

      Sorry to disappoint you but “the name of the Lord thy God has been taken in vain” since the introduction of religion to the natives.

      • Mike_Realism

        Sorry but what verse in the bible can we see that?

        • lc

          Which one were you referring to? The verse you mentioned is the third commandment, not second. Now, if you’re asking about the reply “since the introduction of religion to the natives”, it is self explanatory.

          “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.

          “You still lack one thing. Sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”

  • Harper

    Everything he claims will not be to make Batman or Too Dirty shine. The Death squads where active when Too Dirty was mayor of Davao and the death squads are now in manila.. Do the people think that it is a coincidence or are they just to tanga to see it. What does he gain bey putting himself in the line of fire. He may be another that will die in jail behind bars killed by the police…Odd how that happens and no one cries about murders… LIFE HERE IS CHEAP

  • Yolanda Santos

    When Psycho Idioterte was Mayor, the extrajudicial killings were mostly in Davao City. Arturo Lascanas alone – by his own admission, killed from 200 to 300 people on the orders of “Superman” Idioterte.

    Now that cold blooded murderer Idioterte is President, the extrajudicial killings are now happening all over the Philippines with more than 8,000 summarily executed during the last 8 months alone.

    This inutile Congress, if is has any pride left, should now start impeachment proceedings against Idioterte for tyranny and abuse of power.

    • lc

      You seem to be knowledgable about these extrajudicial killings you have been attributing to someone named Psycho Idioterte in some of your comments. To be more credible in what you are saying identify who the person is. Insinuation will not do you any good.

      Is the information you have first hand or you just heard it from talking heads in the media and from those hauled to congress to testify, for one reason or another?

      So impeachment is your ultimate goal for Psycho Idioterte, not even “inutile Congress” can act upon without knowing who to impeach.

  • vg

    The Senate got lost. They opened up a hearing to investigate the current killings happening in the drug war. The first witness only testified on DU30 and the supposed DDS of times past. The Senate correctly shut it down. Then it reopened to hear testimony, that the first testimony was a lie. Shut it down for good this time. Cover it in concrete and never go back. What a waste of time and money.


    The boy who cried wolf was eaten by the Wolf. Who will the people believe you now? You? the Drug coddler Delima? Traitor who sold the country Trillanes?

    The yellows are working overtime to topple down this administration, while this administration is working overtime to improve the lives of the Filipino.

    Just in..

    1. Executive Order for nationwide smoking ban will be signed today.

    2. National Broadband – Fiber Optics is already approved by Duterte.

    and many more.. Things that the previous yellow administration has waited until eternity and something bleeds out..

    Lascanas? — go back to reality… we will never know if you are telling the truth. We hope that liver will serve you long before you could tell any truth.

  • OFW_000000001

    The truth is Lascanas never presented any proofs at all..lahat puro kwento… madalas pa nya sabihin…”kung di ako nagkakamali, sabi ni kwan, sinabi sakin ni… sana napayuhan sya ng mga abugado ng maayos bago sumalang. Walang physical evidence, walang corraborative evidence, walang documented evidence… kung ikaw ay matinong Judge, ano naman magiging conclusion mo? E di nagsayang lang talaga ng panahon. Tsk Tsk.

  • sea eagle

    Senators questioning the credibility of Lascanas are crooks who got ongoing cases or cases that can be reopen and can send them to jail,so they have to butt kiss killer Duterte.

  • Mike_Realism

    When ask if he can name someone to testify against hes claim. He said Motabato! That was the punchline! Bahahahaha