death squads - updates

Rappler's latest stories on death squads


[OPINION] Davao City, 1993-2009

Nov 03, 2018 - 8:30 PM

The prevailing attitude in Davao at the time, however, was not one of condemnation, outrage, and horror, as one might reasonably expect. Rather, people were pragmatic and tolerant.

Activist priest recounts 'close call' with death squad

Aug 27, 2018 - 12:39 PM

Father Amado Picardal has spent his life documenting Davao Death Squad killings. He sees himself as the target of the notorious group.

"Running priest" Robert Reyes holds Father Picardal and lay person Chito Generoso before he sends them off to their 1500-kilometer bike trip.  Photo by Eloisa Lopez /

Death squads, Gilas suspension, Tropical Storm Inday | Evening wRap

Jul 19, 2018 - 8:51 PM

Watch Rappler’s evening newscast with Mara Cepeda

Bishop slams 'death squads' in 2 overnight Caloocan murders

Jul 19, 2018 - 2:00 PM

(UPDATED) 'We used to call them bonnet gangs. Now we just call them what they really are – death squads,' says Caloocan Bishop Pablo Virgilio David

SHEPHERD. Caloocan Bishop Pablo Virgilio David celebrates Mass at the 5th Philippine Conference on New Evangelization at the University of Santo Tomas in Manila on July 19, 2018. Photo by Roy Lagarde

One last bike trip for the fearless Father Picx

Mar 17, 2018 - 12:49 PM

'I am just a mere point of light in the dark. But I believe and hope that even small acts that we do will add to the collective efforts to awaken the conscience of the nation,' says Fr Amado 'Picx' Picardal, as he goes on a 16-day 'Bike for Life and Peace' around Northern Mindanao

FEARLESS PRIEST. Father Amado 'Picx' Picardal says he is embarking on the 1,500-kilometer bike trip in Northern Mindanao 'fully aware...that I can be a target of extrajudicial killing'. Photo by Eloisa Lopez /

[OPINION] ICC: Complementarity, not exhaustion of remedies

Mar 10, 2018 - 11:00 AM

If the ICC has to wait for the Duterte regime to investigate – which is not forthcoming at all – the ICC will never be able to act

Int'l Criminal Court closely following drug war killings from 2016

Feb 08, 2018 - 9:06 PM

International Criminal Court Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda says her office has conducted 'a careful, independent, and impartial review of communications and reports documenting alleged crimes'

De Lima urges ICC to act with urgency: Killings still happening

Feb 08, 2018 - 5:53 PM

The detained senator says the theory of immunity must be challenged at this point, saying that the drafters of the Constitution did not anticipate 'this magnitude of killings' in the hands of a 'notorious president'

ELECTORAL REFORM. Senator Leila De Lima, chairman of the committee on electoral reform, seeks to move election offices out of local government units to avoid conflict. File photo by Joseph Vidal

Int'l Criminal Court takes 1st step in probe into Duterte drug war

Feb 08, 2018 - 12:22 PM

(UPDATED) The Office of the Prosecutor starts a 'preliminary examination' to determine whether there is sufficient evidence to establish that the case falls under the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court

Duterte warns cops: NPA ‘sparrow units’ are back

Jan 15, 2018 - 10:15 PM

The last time President Rodrigo Duterte mentioned the communist urban hit squads in his speech, he cited them as reason for the creation of the now notorious Davao Death Squad

THREAT? President Rodrigo Duterte says on January 15, 2018, the urban hit squads of the New People's Army are out to attack state forces. File photo by Manman Dejeto/Rappler

[OPINYON] Sex at ang DDS

Dec 17, 2017 - 1:01 PM

Pero meron pa, sabi ng kausap ko, naabot namin ang sukdulang kaligayahang seksuwal kapag sinasabi niya sa mga kaaway niya, 'Papatayin ko kayong lahat'

[OPINION] Respect for national proceedings?

Dec 09, 2017 - 10:27 AM

If what Harry Roque means about 'national proceeding' is such national criminal proceeding against Duterte, the question is to be asked: is there or has there been such national criminal investigation against Duterte in the first place?

AFP on Martial Law extension, Duque on Dengvaxia, Salvator Mundi buyer | Evening wRap

Dec 08, 2017 - 9:06 PM

Watch the evening newscast with Marguerite de Leon

DOJ on NDF, Duterte calls Manila ‘dead city,’ Roque on ICC | Midday wRap

Dec 08, 2017 - 1:02 PM

Watch the midday newscast with Mara Cepeda

[OPINION] Newspoint | Abnormal evolution of justice

Oct 14, 2017 - 11:30 AM

Ideology is a system of political and economic thought that chooses a particular character in a particular environment in whom to incubate, and conviction is well-informed steadfastness. Simpleminded, impulsive, and stubborn, Rodrigo Duterte is just all wrong for both.

Leila de Lima: Bloody but unbowed

Sep 05, 2017 - 4:30 PM

An interview with Senator Leila de Lima who has been kept in detention for over 6 months now

BIRTHDAY WISH. Detained Senator Leila de Lima attends her hearing at the Muntinlupa Regional Trial Court on August 18, 2017 and says her birthday wish is 'vindication soon.' File photo from Office of Sen Leila de Lima

Imee Marcos, Ombudsman, North Korea | Midday wRap

Aug 31, 2017 - 2:12 PM

Watch the midday newscast with Marguerite de Leon

Ombudsman pursues Matobato's Davao Death Squad complaint

Aug 30, 2017 - 8:22 PM

UPDATED Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales inhibits from the investigation

ARREST WARRANT. Edgar Matobato attends the Senate probe into the spate of extrajudicial killings, September 16, 2016. File photo by LeAnne Jazul/Rappler

TIMELINE: Probing into the Davao Death Squad

Jun 30, 2017 - 7:00 PM

Several investigations, witnesses, and hearings have been conducted in the past decade yet the existence of the Davao Death Squad remains to be a very contested issue

DOJ moves to cancel Lascañas' passport

Jun 15, 2017 - 8:21 AM

Arturo Lascañas is facing murder and frustrated murder charges over his confession of operating to kill radio man Jun Pala

SELF-CONFESSED HITMAN. Retired police SPO3 Arturo Lascañas during a 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

Aguirre orders NBI to get Interpol help in Lascañas' arrest

Jun 13, 2017 - 11:42 AM

Senator Antonio Trillanes IV says the DOJ order is proof that retired Davao cop Arturo Lascañas told the truth about President Rodrigo Duterte in connection with the Davao Death Squad

LIAR OR TRUTH-TELLING? Retired police SPO3 Arthur Lascanas 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

Vitaliano Aguirre: 'Fake news king' to opposition, 'bright boy' to Duterte

Jun 11, 2017 - 2:00 PM

Aguirre says he would have wanted to settle for a quiet life, take care of his 6 grandchildren, tend to his bonsais, and resume scuba diving, but service beckoned

DOJ CHIEF. Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II faces his latest controversy since being appointed chief of the Department of Justice (DOJ). Photo by Franz Lopez/Rappler

Additional 'communication' vs Duterte filed before Int'l Criminal Court

Jun 06, 2017 - 5:19 PM

Philippine Senator Antonio Trillanes IV and congressman Gary Alejano call for a preliminary examination to give victims hope 'Duterte’s impunity would soon end'

 END IMPUNITY. Senator Antonio Trillanes IV and Magdalo Representative Gary Alejano  urges ICC Prosecutor to bring hope and end President Rodrigo Duterte's impunity. Presidential Photo

Lascañas' DDS claims 'flooded with loopholes' – Senate committee

May 22, 2017 - 10:22 PM

The Senate committee report recommends increase the penalty for witnesses who commit perjury

LIAR? Retired police SPO3 Arthur Lascanas during a hearing of the Senate committee on public order and dangerous drugs on March 6, 2017 on the existence of the so-called Davao Death Squad. File photo by LeAnne Jazul/Rappler

Will Ombudsman's Davao Death Squad probe affect ICC complaint?

Apr 25, 2017 - 6:40 PM

Matobato has personally testified before Ombudsman investigators

Edgar Matobato attends a Senate hearing on September 22, 2016. Photo by LeAnn Jazul/Rappler

Bohol clash, Lascanas, Uson & Marcos | Evening wRap

Apr 11, 2017 - 7:29 PM

Watch the evening newscast with Margie de Leon

Of all people, Lacson should understand why I left PH – Lascañas

Apr 11, 2017 - 1:55 PM

In a statement the self confessed Davao Death Squad leader reminds Senator Lacson that he was once a fugitive

FROM ONE PRESIDENTIAL ENEMY TO ANOTHER. Self-confessed Davao Death Squad leader and former SPO3 Arthur Lascañas says Senator Panfilo Lacson, of all people, should understand his situation. File photos

Redemption or destabilization? What Arthur Lascañas is about

Apr 10, 2017 - 5:26 PM

It s been more than 3 decades since Lascañas entered the police force and 4 months since he retired his police uniform Now he has fled

WITNESS, LIAR? Retired cop Arturo Lascañas, before he fled the Philippines. Rappler photo

U.S. & Russia, Lascanas, earthquake | Midday wRap

Apr 10, 2017 - 1:40 PM

Watch the midday newscast with David Lozada

Lacson: Who paid for Lascañas' trip to Singapore?

Apr 10, 2017 - 1:36 PM

Senator Panfilo Lacson who led the Senate probe into Arturo Lascañas testimony says the family of the ex Davao City cop also flew a month ahead of him

Retired police SPO3 Arthur Lascanas 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.

Lascañas left for Singapore – immigration spokesperson

Apr 09, 2017 - 9:55 PM

Bureau of Immigration spokesperson Antonette Mangrobang says there is no hold departure order or lookout bulletin against retired Davao City policeman Arturo Lascañas

Retired police SPO3 Arthur Lascanas during a hearing of the Senate committee on public order and dangerous drugs on March 6, 2017 on the existence of the Davao Death Squad.

Davao witness: I was pressured to invent drug issue vs Duterte

Apr 05, 2017 - 6:27 PM

Edgar Matobato s lawyer Jude Sabio insists Guillermina Barrido Arcillas was not coached and the only money given her was intended to help relocate her family for their protection

The day Duterte faced the Commission on Human Rights

Mar 30, 2017 - 11:17 AM

(UPDATED) In 2009, then mayor and now President Rodrigo Duterte denied the existence of the Davao Death Squad during a public hearing, but admitted there were 'unexplained, unresolved' killings

Arrest warrant out for Matobato for 2002 kidnapping

Mar 28, 2017 - 2:23 PM

UPDATED Edgar Matobato is ordered arrested for the kidnapping of alleged terrorist Sali Makdum in 2002 a non bailable offense

Edgar Matobato attends a Senate hearing on September 22, 2016. Photo by LeAnn Jazul/Rappler

Killings in war on drugs 'extension' of DDS system – Sabio

Mar 25, 2017 - 2:23 PM

Lawyer Jude Sabio says testimonies of self-proclaimed Davao Death Squad members and pronouncements on killing drug personalities will help build a strong case against President Rodrigo Duterte before the ICC

Lascañas, Matobato were not the first DDS whistle-blowers

Mar 25, 2017 - 10:30 AM

The sworn affidavits of the 4 witnesses in 2009 cover the structure of the alleged death squad describe how the death contracts were carried out and elaborate on the practice of burying victims in the Laud quarry

Archbishop Villegas backs Matobato, Lascañas

Mar 23, 2017 - 7:42 PM

In his Lenten message Archbishop Socrates Villegas presents true stories of conversion from self confessed hitmen Edgar Matobato and Arthur Lascañas

LENTEN MESSAGE. Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas says self-confessed Davao Death Squad members Edgar Matobato and Arthur Lascañas experienced the mercy of God. File photo by Maria Tan/Rappler

Rappler Talk Investigative: Matobato lawyer Jude Sabio on Duterte and the ICC

Mar 23, 2017 - 11:01 AM

Lawyer Jude Sabio is expected to fly to the Netherlands soon to hold President Duterte accountable before the International Criminal Court over alleged extrajudicial killings

After days of silence, Dela Rosa debunks Lascañas claim

Mar 14, 2017 - 8:00 PM

The PNP chief insists he cannot comment on other allegations because it s beyond his personal knowledge

Planned ICC case 'not applicable' to Duterte, PH – Palace

Mar 11, 2017 - 4:26 PM

Malacañang reiterates that the extrajudicial killings – stated as the basis for a case against the President before the tribunal – are not state-sanctioned

Putting a president behind bars

Mar 11, 2017 - 12:34 PM

If the criminal acts imputed on the President were committed when he was not yet a president he cannot be protected by presidential immunity

Matobato lawyer to file case vs Duterte in ICC

Mar 09, 2017 - 6:48 PM

Lawyer Jude Sabio says he wants to file by end of March the crimes against humanity case in relation to extrajudicial killings

TO ICC. Accompanied by lawyer Jude Sabio, self-confessed member of the Davao Death Squad Edgar Matobato voluntarily surrenders at the Manila Police District on March 9, 2017. Photo by Ben Nabong/Rappler

Edgar Matobato surrenders to Manila police

Mar 09, 2017 - 4:14 PM

UPDATED Self confessed Davao Death Squad hitman Edgar Matobato leaves the Manila Police District after a Manila court issues his release order late Thursday afternoon

Alleged former member of the the Davao Death Squad Edgar Matobato voluntarily surrendered and is detained inside the Manila Action and Special Assignment (MASA) inside the Manila City hall on Thursday after posting bail for frustrated murder before the Regional Trial Court branch 19 of the Digos City, Davao Del Sur.

More 'DDS whistle-blowers' coming forward?

Mar 09, 2017 - 10:00 AM

Will more people join the likes of Edgar Matobato and Arthur Lascanas?

WHISTLEBLOWER. Will more people join the likes of Edgar Matobato and Arthur Lascañas (in photo)? Photo by LeAnne Jazul/Rappler

#ThewRap: Things you need to know, March 9, 2017

Mar 09, 2017 - 9:30 AM

Hello Here are the stories you shouldn t miss this Thursday

Rappler Talk Investigative: Arturo Lascañas, Duterte loyalist no more

Mar 09, 2017 - 6:51 AM

Lascañas talks about his team of hitmen addresses policemen who will be involved in the revived TokHang operations and has a message for President Rodrigo Duterte as well

Lascañas warns PNP: One day, you'll feel the pain I feel

Mar 08, 2017 - 10:17 PM

The self confessed hitman of the so called Davao Death Squad warns cops of a suffering that comes once you ve killed for the wrong reasons

LOYALIST TURNED WITNESS? Arthur Lascañas talks to Rappler days after his testimony before the Senate. Rappler photo

Lascañas to Duterte: Killing 'not the ultimate solution'

Mar 08, 2017 - 10:03 PM

Says Lascañas in Filipino: We cannot play the role of God deciding who will live and who will die That is so wrong

Yasay, Lopez, DDS | Evening wRap

Mar 08, 2017 - 9:31 PM

Watch the evening newscast with Chay Hofileña

'I'm alive': Dance instructor of Duterte's sister denies Lascañas' claims

Mar 08, 2017 - 9:04 PM

Ruben Borja Baguio the dance instructor of Jocellyn Duterte Villarica writes on Facebook that he is alive Lascañas reacts saying it is possible that Baguio is a different dance instructor or that they got the wrong man at the time

DANCE INSTRUCTOR. Ruben Baguio with Jocellyn Duterte-Villarica. Photo from Jocellyn Villarica's Facebook page.