Ex cop links Philippine leader to killings in Senate inquiry

MANILA, Philippines (AP) — A retired Philippine officer has linked President Rodrigo Duterte, when he was a mayor, and his men to nearly 200 killings, including of foreign drug suspects, that the officer and other members of a so-called death squad allegedly carried out.

Arturo Lascanas made the allegations at the start of a nationally televised Senate inquiry Monday.

Duterte’s spokesman, Ernesto Abella, described Lascanas as a “polluted source and perjured witness” because he had denied in a separate 2016 Senate hearing that there was a “Davao Death Squad,” which has been linked to then mayor Duterte.

Abella called Lascanas’ testimony “fabricated and unacceptable.”

Lascanas testified that he personally heard Duterte order killings in two instances while the other attacks were initiated by police officers supposedly on Duterte’s orders.