MANILA, Philippines – Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II said on Thursday, June 15 that he will be requesting the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) to cancel the passport of retired cop and self-confessed Davao Death Squad (DDS) hitman Arturo Lascañas.
"Mr. Lascañas has 3 warrants of arrest issued against him, he has to be brought to court to face the charges against him. Since he is abroad and since there is no indication that he will return, we are constrained to request the DFA to cancel his Phlippine passport," Aguirre said in a statement released to media on Thursday. (READ: Aguirre orders NBI to get Interpol help in Lascañas' arrest)
Lascañas flew to Singapore on April 8, his free movement allowed due to the lack of a lookout bulletin or a hold departure against him.
Late May, two counts of frustrated murder and one count of murder were filed against Lascañas before the Davao City Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 10 for the 2003 killing of radio man Jun Pala.
Lascañas confessed to operating the killing of Pala in 2003, but he also said President Rodrigo Duterte, then Davao City Mayor, had ordered him to do so. His public confession added to the stories about the DDS which Duterte has always claimed to be a just a Davao myth. (READ: From DDS 'denier' to whistle-blower: Why Lascañas changed his tune)
Lascañas was put on the Senate floor for a legislative inquiry but it was terminated just after one hearing because according to Senate public order committee chair Panfilo Lacson, Lascañas' testimony "has no value." (READ: The Senate scramble that led to the Lascañas probe)
"If he believes in his innocence then he should welcome his arrest as a chance for him to clear his name and get on with his life. However if he is guilty, we cannot tolerate his continuing fight," Aguirre said. – Rappler.com