Malacanang has branded as a form of harassment the complaints filed at the Ombudsman by self-confessed hitman Edgar Matobato against President Rodrigo Duterte in connection with the so-called Davao Death Squad (DDS).
"The complaint is nothing but harassment aimed at distracting the Chief Executive from performing his duty. The Ombudsman already terminated an earlier investigation on the Davao Death Squad case, which linked former Davao City Mayor Duterte," Communications Assistant Secretary Ana Marie Banaag said in a statement.
Banaag also reminded Matobato’s camp that "the Ombudsman cannot discipline or remove impeachable officials, which include the President" and that "he enjoys immunity while in office."
"However, we acknowledge the constitutional mandate of the Office of the Ombudsman to act on and investigate complaints against government officials," Banaag added.
On Friday, Matobato through his lawyer Atty Jude Sabio, asked the Ombudsman to investigate the President and several others over their alleged involvement in vigilante killings.
Matobato filed a complaint for murder and kidnapping against Duterte, then mayor of Davao City, and Davao City Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte, Philippine National Police Chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa and 25 others.
Sabio acknowledged that Duterte is currently immune from suit as President, but he said, it is up to the Ombudsman to take action.