Did President Rodrigo pull trigger?
THE President of the Philippines shot and killed a justice department employee while he was mayor of Davao city, a former death squad member has claimed.
Rodrigo Duterte has also been accused of ordering death squads to murder criminals, Muslims and political opponents.
In a televised committee hearing at the Philippines Senate on Thursday, former militia member Edgar Matobato said he and other members of the death squad saw Mr Duterte kill an agent from the justice depart- ment's National Bureau of Investigation in 1993.
He said the death squad was blocked by the vehicle of an NBI agent and a con- frontation led to a shootout, leaving the agent wounded and out of bullets.
He then alleged Mr Duterte, who was Davao mayor at the time, arrived at the scene and shot the agent with a submachine gun.
"Mayor Duterte was the one who finished him off,” Mr Matobato said under oath, according to a translation from AFP.
"Jamisola (the justice department official) was still alive when he arrived.
"He (Mr Duterte) emptied two Uzi magazines on him.”
Mr Matobato also ad- mitted involvement in about 50 abductions and murders and claimed his gang fed a suspected kidnapper to a crocodile in 2007.
"Our job was to kill criminals like drug pushers, rapists, snatchers. These are the kind we killed every day,” the 57-year-old said.
He said their targets were not only criminals but opponents of both Mr Duterte and one of his sons, Paolo Duterte, who is now the vice-mayor of Davao.
Philippine human rights officials and advocates have previously said potential witnesses refused to testify against Mr Duterte when he was still mayor out of fear of being killed.
Mr Duterte served as mayor of Davao for 22 years.
The President's office said it would wait for the Senate hearing to conclude before issuing an official statement.
An estimated 3000 suspected drug dealers have have been killed by police or vigilantes since Mr Duterte came to power in late June promising a war on the drug trade.
Mr Duterte has rubbished concerns over his drug policy, labelling Barack Obama a "son of a whore” after the US President expressed concern about the killings.