Bato questions timing of testimony of ‘DDS hitman’
Philippine National Police chief Dir. Gen. Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa on Thursday questioned the timing of the presentation of Edgar Matobato as witness at the Senate hearing when the inquiry was supposed to look into the spate of extrajudicial killings in the country and not the Davao Death Squad (DDS).
“The timing and his presence diyan sa hearing na ’yan is questionable na in the first place. Akala ko ’yung extrajudicial killings in relation to the war on drugs. Eh bakit ’yung kay Matobato na matagal na, DDS na era pa ’yan,” Dela Rosa said in an ambush interview after the Senate probe on Thursday.
Matobato, a confessed hitman from the vigilante group, implicated Dela Rosa, President Rodrigo Duterte, his son Davao City Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte, NBI Director Dante Gierran, and several policemen as behind summary executions in Davao City.
During the hearing, Dela Rosa denied personally knowing Matobato but said the latter’s name was familiar as he was a known hitman in the province.
“First time ko siyang nakita although naririnig ko pangalan niya na, tirador ’yan sa Matobato,” he said in the interview.
Dela Rosa, a former chief of the Davao City police, also questioned the motive of Matobato in testifying before the Senate.
“Hindi ko alam kung ano talaga ang motibo niya,” he said.
Admitting that he has not personally spoken with Dela Rosa, Matobato said a certain “SPO4 Arthur Lascañas,” his fellow hitman and Duterte’s alleged right hand, would bring him to Dela Rosa’s office.
Dela Rosa formerly headed the Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Task Force (PAOCTF) in Mindanao in 1999.
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