• Senator Antonio Trillanes delivered his privilege speech on Monday attacking President Rodrigo Duterte
  • Trillanes accused Duterte of being a “mass murderer”
  • He also moved that his speech be referred to the Blue Ribbon so Duterte can be investigated
  • Committee chair Senator Richard Gordon denied his motion

MANILA, Philippines – Senator Antonio Trillanes IV has taken the Senate floor on Monday and accused President Rodrigo Duterte of being a “mass murderer” for allegedly having a direct involvement in the killing of thousands of victims during his term as Davao City mayor.

In a privilege speech, Trillanes presented some documents which supposedly disputed the other senator’s allegation that self-confessed killer Edgar Matobato is not a reliable witness because of inconsistencies in his testimony.

Matobato claims to be a former member of the feared Davao Death Squad, the vigilante group who has allegedly killed thousands upon the orders of Duterte.

“Now that we have seen the different corroborating evidence on the testimony of Mr. Edgar Matobato, we are faced with a very frightening prospect – that of having a mass murderer as president of the country,” said Trillanes.

Trillanes also supported Matobato’s story about being a DDS member and urged his colleagues “not to look the other way” because Matobato is telling them in their faces that Duterte is behind the DDS.

“I am sure that prior to this inquiry, all of us have heard rumors of the Davao Death Squad and that Duterte was somehow behind it … but we were able to look the other way because it was convenient for us to do so. All that has changed,” the former soldier said.

After his address, Trillanes moved that his speech be referred to the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee so the Upper House can start investigating Duterte on the alleged extrajudicial killings.

But Senator Alan Peter Cayetano, a staunch supporter of Duterte at the Senate, immediately stood up after the speech and reprimanded Trillanes for trying to make an individual assessment on the Senate  floor regarding the witness.

Senator Richard Gordon, the chairperson of the committee on justice and human rights side with Cayetano and asked that the Trillanes’ concerns be raised with the committee on rules for evaluation.