Retired SPO3 Arturo Lascañas was scheduled to face Senate hearing today after recanting his testaments in a press conference last February 20, admitting his involvement in the Davao Death Squad.
During the inquiry, Lascañas narrated about the beginnings of the group. He said that the origins of the Davao Death Squad can be traced back to Duterte’s first win as city Mayor in 1988 where he formed an anti-crime task force led by Major Ernesto Macasaet who had been known to have close ties with him.
He said that they were the first batch of the Death Squad from 1989 to 1998. Initially, the group had been dedicated to going after criminals and organized crime. However, Duterte had allegedly began organizing liquidation squads which is now currently referred to as the DDS. By 2001, the DDS was already in full force.
Lascañas said that Duterte started ordering the killings of political enemies aside from criminals.
He also named retired Inspector Ildefons Asentista, retired SPO4 Bienvenido Laud, late SPO4 Fulgencio Pabo, SPO4 Geremias Baguhin, SPO3 Teodoro Pagidupon and SPO2 Jun Laresma as members of the so-called “anti-crime” unit.
He also revealed that the group employed NPA rebel returnees in their assault team.
Prior to his confession, Lascañas apologized before the Senate committee and said that he appears before the hearing to recant everything he said in order to clean his conscience.