Senate witness Edgar Matobato, a self-confessed assassin linked President Rodrigo Duterte to be the mastermind of Davao Death Squad and responsible to the extrajudicial killings of suspected criminals in Davao City when he served mayor decades ago, revealed many suspicious things about his testimony.
During the five-hour committee hearing, he mentioned not only President Duterte but also his eldest son Davao City Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte, PNP Chief General Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa, and several police and officials of the alleged DDS, saying they had ordered and/or participated in the killing of around 1,000 people – Muslims, criminals, drug suspects, minors linked to “rugby glue” addiction, and even innocent people from 1988 up to 2013.
However, his inconsistencies and inaccuracies during his testimony left senators doubtful of Matobato’s numerous allegations. Here’s a list of them.
1. Matobato claimed he was a former member of the Civilian Armed Forces Geographical Units (CAFGU) with the Scout Rangers before Dutete hired him in DDS.
The Armed Forces of the Philippines denied Matobato’s membership because his name was not on the official list of Scout Rangers in the Philippines. Philippine Army spokesperson Col. Benjamin Hao said in a phone interview with News5,”We have no Matobato in our list. Kanina pa ako check ng check, wala talaga eh. (I have been checking and checking for a while but there’s none.)”
2. Matobato repeatedly mentioned the existence of Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Task Force (PAOCTF) in 2002.
Senator Panfilo Lacson who was also former chief of the Philippine National Police and head of the PAOCTF pointed out that the PAOCTF was no longer existing in 2001.
3. Matobato claimed that he knows Philippine National Police Director General Ronald Dela Rosa, adding he presented Sali Makdum, an alleged international terrorist in 2002, in his office before killing him.
Dela Rosa denied knowing Matobato during the hearing. “Your honor, this is the first time that I see this person.” Dela Rosa said. “I have heard his name, Edgar Matobato sa Davao, tirador daw. Pero yung mukha, di ko kilala. Ngayon ko lang talaga nakita (I have heard his name, Edgar Matobato in Davao, an alleged hitman. But I don’t know him in person. I just saw him now),” Dela Rosa added.
Dela Rosa also said that his office did not have a target named Sali Makdum when he was with PAOCTF.
4. Matobato claimed that wealthy businessman Richard King and allegedly rival of Davao City Mayor Paolo Duterte over a woman, was shot to the head at close-range across a fast food chain.
Senator Panfilo Lacso referred to media reports and corrected Matobato that King was killed inside his office.
The senator believed it was unnecessary for Matobato to include King’s case as testimony as he was not part of the crime. “Unfortunately nag-fall short sa expectation at may mga detalye dahil siguro sa kagustuhan maging dramatic ang narration dinagdagan na. Inamin niya di siya kasama kay King. Bakit kailangan sabihin yan? (Unfortunately, he fell short of expectation and maybe because details were added to make the narration more dramatic. He admitted he was not involved in the death of King. Why did you have to say that?)” he said.
5. Matobato claimed that he escorted Paolo Duterte since he was young.
“Hatid sundo namin yan sa Ateneo nung bata pa siya,” he said.
However, Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte actually went to Philippines Women’s College of Davao and not Ateneo.
6. Matobato testified that Duterte issued an order to kidnap and kill four bodyguards of his political rival, former House Speaker Prospero Nograles when the two ran for mayor in 2010.
However, it was President Duterte’s daughter and now Davao City Mayor Inday Sara Duterte-Carpio who rivaled Nograles and President Duterte was elected as vice mayor.
7. In connection to the previous number, Nograles’ team counters Matobato’s claims in a statement saying, “From the time I was chief-of-staff of former Speaker Prospero C. Nograles to the time I was elected as congressman, no supporter of ours or persons under our employ was ever killed due to politics.”
8. Matobato revealed that Duterte also ordered the killing of a dance instructor, whom he claimed was a boyfriend of the president’s sister, Jocelyn Duterte. He added that the instructor was abducted and killed at the Laud Quarry.
In a radio interview, Jocelyn denied the allegations on Thursday saying she never had a dance instructor boyfriend. Hence, she will file a case against Matobato.
9. Matobato claimed that DDS had a black van that was parked in Gaisano Subdivision in Davao City.
However, this so-called “Gaisano Subdivision” was non-existent.
10. Matobato refused to name the people who helped him go to the Senate and become a witness.
This was after long questioning of Senator Alan Peter Cayetano about how Motabato left the government’s Witness Protection Program and how he became a Senate witness when he said earlier that he had no cellphone, television or any access to news.
11. Matobato claimed that he was a ghost employee at the Davao City Hall for 24 years as part of the Civil Security Unit
Senator Tito Sotto corrected him that he is not a ghost employee because he has an ATM account where he received Php300 per day as auxiliary worker for Davao City Hall.