In his testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee on Monday, Ayuno said that President Rodrigo Duterte ordered him to order the arrest of four officials suspected of crimes in the murder of a lawyer who was allegedly tortured by police officers during the police operation to arrest his friend.
Duterte has repeatedly denied ordering the police to murder lawyer Jay Jay Jay Pasay, whom he called a “son of a whore” and who he said had threatened to commit suicide.
He also claimed that the death of Pasay was a conspiracy orchestrated by members of his family, who are accused of ordering the killing.
“You know, I was the only one who said, ‘You know what, if you kill him, I’ll tell the police and the army, and they’ll do it for me,'” Ayuno told the committee.
“I never ordered it, and I never even thought of it.”
The president, who was elected to the presidency in June, is under investigation by the Senate, which is considering his impeachment.
Ayuno was a close ally of Duterte, who has repeatedly criticized him for alleged abuses against drug suspects and human rights defenders.
Duterte had previously ordered Ayuno to be arrested in 2014.
He was later released after he paid a $US1 million fine.
The Philippine National Police (PNP) confirmed to Reuters news agency that Ayuno and his co-defendant, who he identified only as Marcos, were arrested for allegedly being involved in the killing of Pasas.
They were allegedly killed in the raid on his home in the city of Ilocos Norte on May 6, 2017.
“The investigation is ongoing and we will provide the fullest possible explanation,” PNP spokesman Senior Supt.
Alan Purisima told Reuters.
Pasay was the one who was the victim of the crime, so we will investigate that.”