Policemen named by Matobato deny allegations

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SPO3 Arthur Lascañas and retired Davao policeman Dionisio Abude testify at the Senate probe into extrajudicial killings on Monday, October 3.

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — Two policemen identified by Senate witness Edgar Matobato denied involvement in alleged extrajudicial killings (EJK) during the time of then Davao City mayor and now president Rody Duterte.

Senior Supt. Dionisio Abude and SPO3 Arthur Lascañas denied having a hand in the killings, during the continuation of a Senate probe on EJK on Monday. Of the 16 policemen named by Matobato as alleged Davao Death Squad (DDS) members, only Abude and Lascañas appeared before the lawmakers.

Matobato had testified that the Heinous Crime Division of the Davao City Police comprised the DDS, which carried out vigilante-style murders in Davao City.

Read: Trillanes wants Senate probe on Duterte over 'death squad'

Both Abude and Lascañas admitted they knew self-confessed hitman Matobato, but they denied having a hand in the killings.

Retired cop Abude said he knew Matobato as the cousin of a former colleague, Senior Insp. Eduardo Matobato.

A former Heinous Crime Division chief, Abude said he was not yet part of the group when an alleged meeting between policemen and Duterte took place in 2002.

He said he had heard of the death squad, but only from the local press.

Watch: CHR: Re-investigate Duterte's 'links' to death squad

Sen. Leila De Lima tested the credibility of Abude, who eventually admitted being charged for various offenses.

De Lima also pointed out that Abude and his colleagues were found guilty by the Office of the Ombudsman for failing to investigate the muders of 720 people from 2005-2008.

For his part, Lascañas -- the man who allegedly relayed Duterte's kill orders to Matobato -- denied having close relations with the former Davao City Mayor.

Matobato had testified that Lascañas ordered him to abduct and kill foreign terrorist Sali Makdum in 2002, but Lascañas denied this.

He added that Matobato's testimonies on the bombing of a mosque, Richard King's murder, and Jun Pala's ambush were also not true.

CNN Philippines digital producer Karmela Tordecilla contributed to this report.