Press Release
November 15, 2021

Dispatch from Crame No. 1176:
Sen. Leila M. de Lima on the Rappler series on Lascañas' ICC affidavit


Rappler's current investigative series, reporting on the affidavit submitted by former Davao policeman and self-confessed Davao Death Squad (DDS) hitman Arturo Lascañas to the International Criminal Court, is as explosive as any reportage can get.

Currently on its 7th installment as of Saturday, Nov. 13, the series, which began on Nov. 10, walks us through Lascañas' story of how he and the DDS executed hundreds of victims during Duterte's reign as Mayor of Davao City from 1988 up to 2015. It also describes Lascañas' account of how Duterte partnered with Davao drug lords, including Michael Yang who is now embroiled in the Pharmally scandal, in what is essentially a criminal enterprise of many facets including smuggling, illegal drugs, racketeering, and mass murder.

Rappler reporters also put a crucial twist to the details contained in Lascañas' affidavit by painstakingly corroborating and cross-referencing it to various materials on the DDS, both published and unpublished, including records of the CHR investigation into the DDS which I led in 2009, my own personal notes thereon, records of Edgardo Matobato's 2016 Senate testimony during the Justice Committee hearing I conducted, Matobato's Ombudsman affidavit, and other sundry information from various sources.

This is a breakthrough in comprehensive reporting on the Davao Mafia, aka DDS, as led by Duterte. It is important that every Filipino voter reads this series at least once, especially before going to the polls in May 2022, so that they will not vote again to office individuals belonging or allied to what is basically a criminal organization responsible for the most heinous crimes committed by government officials under the cover of public office and government authority.

Kailangan nang maka-move on ng ating bayan mula sa mapang-abusong Chief Executive na noon ay nakamit ang boto ng mamamayan sa pamamagitan ng mga matatamis na pangakong ngayon ay pakong-pako na. Let this breed of outgoing leaders proceed to be ex-leaders, along with their penchant for extrajudicial killings and of accumulating ill-gotten gains at the expense of our people's continued suffering.

Let them face the wrath of justice and suffer the consequences of their atrocious deeds. Electing these people again to national office in 2022 is the biggest mistake and greatest sin we can do to our nation. ###

(Access the handwritten version, here:

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