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Is Lascanas credible?


By Leandro DD Coronel

Leandro DD Coronel

Leandro DD Coronel

The main thing to remember about the Senate testimony of retired SPO3 Arthur Lascanas of the Davao City Police is that he had nothing to gain and everything to lose.

What would a retired policeman gain out of accusing President Duterte of having been the mastermind of the alleged Davao Death Squad (DDS) when Mr. Duterte was city mayor? What would anyone gain by pointing an accusing finger at the most powerful official of the land?

This past Monday Lascanas officially took back his earlier testimony that confessed DDS member Edgar Matobato had lied to the Senate about Mr. Duterte’s involvement in summary killings in Davao City. He confirmed “90 percent” of Matobato’s earlier expose.

Accusing the President of masterminding extrajudicial killings is a grave charge. Matobato had earlier done that, and Mr. Duterte’s defenders had denied the charge. And now comes Lascanas, who had earlier said in a press conference that he lied the first time he was at the Senate where he said Matobato lied about Mr. Duterte and the DDS.

Senators allied with Mr. Duterte questioned mightily Lascanas’ motive in changing his earlier statements. Sens. Manny Pacquiao and JV Ejercito lenghtily tried to trap Lascanas into admitting he had a personal motive in now accusing Duterte. Pacquiao even asked repeatedly if Lascanas had been paid off to recant his earlier testimony.

But Lascanas coolly stood his ground. At his earlier press conference a couple of weeks ago, Lascanas was at times emotional. This time he was composed and firm.

Lascanas and Matobato have now both pointed accusing fingers at Mr. Duterte as behind the DDS. The alleged death squad had been a legend in Davao City, a phenomenon that has been considered an open secret there. Indeed Lascanas said that the current summary killings happening in Metro Manila and around the country bear the marks of the DDS killings of the past.

So, what’s the truth? Are Lascanas and Matobato credible? The senators want more proof. Sen. Grace Poe, for one, wants Lascanas to find someone who could corroborate his accusations.

Judicial courts require a witness’ story backed up by another witness. Journalistic practice, too, needs at least two sources to make a story credible. Lascanas and Matobato corroborate each other’s statements.

During the Senate hearing last Monday, Lascanas appeared confident about his statements. He didn’t read from notes, answered questions without much hesitation, and didn’t look to his lawyers to bail him out.

Matobato, during his turn earlier at the Senate, didn’t have notes, either, but he was not as confident as Lascanas. They related basically the same stories but Lascanas was more authoritative.

That can be explained by Lascanas’ senior position in the police force (and allegedly in the DDS) and the fact that he was more educated, even going to law school (but not taking the bar exams). Matobato had a limited education and, according to him and Lascanas, was low in the DDS hierarchy.

Are Lascanas and Matobato credible? Are they telling the truth?

While the Senate hearings were billed as a search for the truth, not all participants were after the truth. Ideally, such investigative exercises are indeed in search of the truth so laws can be crafted to address specific ills in society.

 At the Senate hearing last Monday, those who believe Lascanas wanted the truth to come out. But Mr. Duterte’s allies appeared to be more interested in protecting him than in finding the truth.

That is the problem with politicians. They don’t always serve the interests of the people and the nation. Rather, they serve their political and personal interests. In that, they persist even when it’s too apparent that they’re serving partisan interests.

When they do that, it’s the nation that loses.


Tantrum Ergo. Sen. Manny Pacquiao is missing a golden opportunity to be a true champion of the masses. Instead he seems happy to be the hitman of the majority in the Senate, where often he embarrasses himself when he opens his mouth.

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  • Loose lips

    Credible murderers? wtf?!

    • tintang_asul

      credible convicted drug-lords? wtf?!

      • Loose lips

        credible philippines?? nope. not anymore


    When the people around you start dropping dead from unexpected lead poisoning , while the sanguine responses from the muscular leadership of the country insists that any official examination of the lead content proves that once again , “It is insignificant” , the drift from credibility is at its wildest , widest , gap , right at the tippy top .

  • Agila

    Who’s not serving the interests of the people? It’s you, Trillanes ( he should explained the Scarborough mess) DeLima ( the “drug” queen, one would be infinitely stupid to believe she is innocent) Lascanas ( even himself doubts his credibility) , Matobato ( no credibility at all) and a dwindling LP supporters who are trying to destabilise the present admin.
    You and the traditional media should instead focus on the govt’s vigorous efforts in several critical fronts, agriculture ( kudos to M Pinol), finance and investments,China, Japan, Europe, etc.. ( Duterte and Dominguez) small and medium business, customs and BIR ( on it ongoing drive vs corruption) and the renewed drive against illegal drugs and gambling. The advent of social media really exposed how traditional media misinform, disinform, report half-truths and unscrupulously put spin on news to favour their vested interests. I am afraid that your days are numbered!!!!!!!

  • echusera

    Then what of the said Dance Instructor who appeared on national television last night— the one whom Matobato and Lascanas allegedly killed? What would you make of that Mr. Leandro?

    Maybe its you, whose trying to pick out only what you want to hear, see and understand…

    • vg

      I agree. Why else would he say the man has nothing to gain and everything to lose by testifying. Most of us would say he is getting money to testify.

      • Juan Bayani

        don’t be naive, after being paid off 100M and a promise to be pardoned in nearby future by a friendly vice pres. soon to be pres….what do you expect?

        • kulugo

          May pruweba ka nabayaran? Katulad ka rin ni aguirre na naniwala sa convicts na sasabihin ang lahat dahil may pardon na!

    • kulugo

      other than that anymore? You dont even have an idea if that is the true DI..let him speak sa inquiry and lets see.. Even me I can say I am the DI who knows? wag tanga bes, nakamamatay!

      • Juan Bayani

        wag din maging gago kulugo, iisa lang dance instructor ng sister ni pduts, alam ito ng karamihan dahil iisa lang ang ballroom na pinagsasayawan…gets mo kulugo…ulol

        • kulugo

          Natural isa lang e namatay na nga e di pinalitan ng bago..yang DI na yan pano mo nalaman na indi yan yong kapalit ng namatay aber? Obobs!

          • Juan Bayani

            ikaw itong bobo kulugo…isang DI lang ang nagturo sa sister ni pduts eversince mag-umpisa itong mag ballroom dancing, tanunging mo lahat ng nagsasayaw at me-ari ng ballroom….gets mo na? tanga

          • tintang_asul

            Eh bakit hindi iniharap sa senado yang DI na yan to test the claims? Pwede naman na sinabi ng nag utos DI yan (or sabihin, may ginawang kalokohan yan, yun naman pala wala). So 1. saying that the DI is alive doesn’t really make Lascanas and Matobato liars since they were given instructions and background info and assumed those to be accurate; 2. The DI could have been called to the inquiry to get the facts straight with Lascanas…. why didn’t they do that?

          • Beige Velivo

            Because Duterte’s puppets are afraid that another session would reveal the dark truth.

          • kulugo

            Obobs…Si lascanas nga sya na mismo pumatay indi paniwalaan un pa kayang ipagtatanonh mo lang. DUTard will always be dutard!

          • Juan Bayani

            kaya nga hindi pinaniwalaan si lascanas dahil buhay yung sinabi nila ni matobato na pinatay daw dahil niloko kapatid ni pduts…ganyan na ba kababa ang utak mo, sa may bayag na nangangamoy tae na…hayz

          • kulugo

            so pano mo papaniwalaan na yon ang original DI? kasi sabi nila? lol!

      • echusera

        di lng agree sa iniisip mo tanga agad?
        wag masyadong ocntra-nega bes, nakakamatay yan!
        we’ll see na lng

        • kulugo

          may nanalo na bes,late k!

  • Victorino Villaflor

    Now time for Leandro Coronal to join the group of Trillanes, the Halimaw and other certified yellows. Just like other partisans, Coronel is trying very hard to guide the readers his logic to protect Lascanas and Matobato as he is bent on making the statements of Matobato and Lascanas as credible the way he wants is to appear. If you were able to see the proceedings on TV, Lascanas was mostly saying “yes your honor” and “no your honor.” Contrary to what Coronel claim, Lascanas did not issue long statements or explanations in all the questions asked of him and appears to be ready to lie. It is clear and evident that he was coached in what to say and what to answer, so what Leondro Coronel said in his article is full of crap and expose him to be a partisan and on the take. By the way, is Coronel a lawyer?

  • miguel arcangel

    “Tantrum Ergo. Sen. Manny Pacquiao is missing a golden opportunity to be a true champion of the masses. Instead he seems happy to be the hitman of the majority in the Senate, where often he embarrasses himself when he opens his mouth.” – I AGREE!!!

  • miguel arcangel

    i know that every single Filipino want clean governance…i am just hoping that if they listen from their right, they must listen as well from their left…they should also look at their back and have an open-wide eyes in front of them, too…then, analyze…i believe Filipinos are intelligent…

  • ricardo

    I dont believe in your opinion…

  • ricardo

    if there 2 or more persons pointing at you for a crime you do not commit. Does it mean they are credible witness? iIs it a matter of counting only?

  • Yopej Namzug Ed Letnemip

    Tama! ilan pa bang buhay ang kailangan mawala bgo magising 2 mga ito.ang lilinis nyo kc hndi pa nga kyo ngddrugs mamamatay tao n kyo. I agree sir very well said may mga pansariling interest 2 ska clearly sobrang takot nila ky duterte kahit pa may mali.tsk tsk

    • oca127

      Kung buhay ng mga criminal addict at pusher ang mawawala cguro mag bunyi ang sambayanan…sino ba ang mga pinatay nla lascanasa at matobato mga criminal hindi ba…dapat ubusin ang mga criminal addict at pusher para matahimik ang buong bayan..

      • Yopej Namzug Ed Letnemip

        puros lng ba tlg criminal?konting gising kapatid personally hndi aq sa dilaw pro hndi tayo bulag sino ba nmn ang ayaw masugpo ang kriminalidd sna nga puro lng criminal sna nkikinig ka news kahit doktor ngiging biktima ng pgpatay hndi tyo mgkaka away2 d2 bagkus pinupuna lng ntin ang maling nkikita ntin aq msmo hndi perpekto and ganun dn ang bwat administrasypn pupuna lng tyo ng mali

      • Mimi

        Umasa ka pa sa justice system ng Pilipinas. Ang mga criminal ay para sa mga mahihirap lang at yun ang pinapatay nila.

  • neil_pogi

    pa’no ba naman malalaman kung ang isang eyewitness ay paiba-iba ng testimonya? tinanong sya ni pacquiao kung bakit sya nag iba ng testimonya, ang sabi nya, wala daw dahilan,, pwede ba yun? so jan na lang, nagsinungaling na sya! at bakit ngayon lang naglalabasan ang mga eyewitness? syempre me mga motibo yan, at bakit nuong mayor pa lang ang presidente ay walang umepal? dahil ba hindi pa naging trililing si trillanes? o hindi pa masyadong sikat si de5?

  • vg

    The man said he lied in his first appearance and now he lied again. He said he found god and had to tell the truth. Then he went and lied at the first hearing. Now at the seond hearing he told a completely different story. The only thing we can tell for certain is that he lied. The logical conclusion is that everything he said is a lie. He is not credible at all.

  • Mike_Realism

    If Lascanas is credible then everybody are no good liers.

  • purple8haze

    Dates and events mentioned by Lascanas are very detailed compare to Matobato. Although they corroborated each other. To Satisfy the Senate and Us, it needs a third and better if more than three witness will appear before the August Body.Then Credibility will not be questioned anymore. Only the most rabid, blind fool will think the other way.

  • julio madiaga

    what a stupid question.
    is gordon credible?
    is paquiao dredible?
    in fact is the entire senate credible.

  • frankstupid

    be careful to the yellow troll here!

  • Mimi

    Why not ask all witnesses simultaneously the same questions in different rooms and see if they answer the same, televised syiempre.