SEPTEMBER 15, 2016 — Davao City First District Rep. Karlo Alexei Nograles today denied the allegation made by self-confessed “Davao Death Squad (DDS)” member Edgar Matobato that vigilantes killed some of their bodyguards on orders of then-Mayor Rodrigo Duterte.
“I don’t know what this guy is talking about,” Nograles said on his Facebook account.
“From the time I was chief-of-staff to the time I was elected as congressman, no supporter of ours or persons under our employ was ever killed due to politics,” he added.
Matobato, who appeared as a witness in today’s Senate hearing on extrajudicial killings, had claimed that he and other members of the DDS killed bodyguards of then-House Speaker Prospero Nograles, who is the father of Karlo.
Nograles had been a rival of Duterte’s for many years. They ran against each other in 1992 but Nograles lost the mayorship to Duterte. Nograles also ran against Duterte’s daughter Sara in 2010 but again lost.
But during the 2016 Presidential campaign, Nograles supported Duterte, ending decades of political rivalry.
In his statement today, Karlo said political differences in Davao City have always been “strictly on the level of difference in policy and style.”
“It has never degraded into the level of physical or violent. That is why it is easy for us to set aside our differences and unite for the common good of Davao and the nation,” he said.
At the same time, the young Nograles said he suspects that Matobato is “being manipulated by some people to only serve their own selfish interests.”
He did not elaborate, but during the Senate hearing, Senator Alan Peter Cayetano insinuated that Matobato was being used by the Liberal Party, which he said wants to oust Duterte.
Even Duterte himself said he believes the Liberal Party is trying to oust him.
“Let us not fool each other. (US President Barack) Obama rides on it. (United Nations secretary general) Ban Ki Moon rides on it. Do you know who’s behind this game? It’s the yellow,” he said on September 12 at the oath taking of senior officials in the government held at the Palace’s Heroes Hall.
“They can think that if they can build a case against me, I’ll be impeached,” he added.