Marcos Jr. administration

Ex-Davao hitman Lascañas warns Marcos: Don’t trust the Dutertes

Jairo Bolledo

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Ex-Davao hitman Lascañas warns Marcos: Don’t trust the Dutertes

WITNESS. In this file photo, retired police SPO3 Arturo Lascañas speaks during the hearing of the Senate committee on public order and dangerous drugs on March 6, 2017 on the existence of the Davao Death Squad.

Photo by LeAnne Jazul/Rappler

Self-confessed hitman Arturo Lascañas also challenges Duterte: 'Lumabas ka, magsalita ka, harapin mo ang kaso sa International Criminal Court'

Beware of the “monster from Davao.” These were words of warning from the man whom former president Rodrigo Duterte trusted and who remained loyal to him for years.

Ex-Davao hitman Lascañas warns Marcos: Don’t trust the Dutertes

On Wednesday, January 31, retired police and former Davao Death Squad (DDS) member Arturo Lascañas held a press briefing and told the incumbent president: “Panawagan ko po sa Pangulong Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos Jr. na mag-ingat po at huwag po magkumpiyansa talaga sa halimaw ng Davao na si Rodrigo Roa Duterte at ‘yan allegedly, Vice President Sara ‘Tambaloslos’ Duterte.”

(I’m calling on President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. to be careful and not to trust the monster of Davao, Rodrigo Roa Duterte, and allegedly Vice President Sara “Tambaloslos” Duterte.)

“Tambaloslos” refers to a monster that has been part of Visayan and Mindanao folklore, described as having a “large mouth” and extraordinary genitals. It was Sara who first used the term in a social media post in May 2023 that was interpreted by many as alluding then to Speaker Martin Romualdez.

Lascañas, the self-confessed hitman also said, “Mga traydor po itong mga ito at hinahamon ko sila palagi. Lumabas ka, magsalita ka, harapin mo ang kaso sa International Criminal Court kung totoo kayo na para kayo sa taumbayan ng Davao City.”

(They are traitors and I always dare them. Stand up, speak up, and face your case at the International Criminal Court if you are really for the people of Davao City.)

Lascañas’ press briefing was held days after the word war between Marcos and Duterte, where the latter alleged that the sitting chief executive was a drug addict. Marcos retaliated and said the reason why his predecessor had erratic behavior was due to Duterte’s use of the highly addictive fentanyl.

The Wednesday’s briefing was Lascañas’ first public appearance in a long time, years since he publicized the Dutertes’ alleged involvement in drug war-related killings.

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In 2021, the ICC’s Office of the Prosecutor granted Lascañas a limited immunity deal in exchange for his testimony against Duterte and his alleged death squad. The former cop earlier confessed that he carried out the killings and cover-ups ordered by Duterte himself or through instructions coursed through the former president’s men.

At present, the ICC probe into the killings during Duterte’s term as Davao City mayor and his bloody drug war when he was president, is still ongoing. Many await the ICC’s next move – to either summon Duterte or order his arrest. This, after the ICC appeals chamber denied the Philippine government’s appeal in 2023. – Rappler.com

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Jairo Bolledo

Jairo Bolledo is a multimedia reporter at Rappler covering justice, police, and crime.