IN THE KNOW: Edgar Matobato
Edgar Matobato, 57, is a former member of the Citizen Armed Forces Geographical Unit in Davao province, serving in the militia from 1982 until former government prosecutor Rodrigo Duterte became mayor of Davao City in 1988.
He testified in the Senate on Thursday that Mr. Duterte recruited him into the “Lambada Boys,” a liquidation squad that he said was organized by the new mayor.
Originally a group of seven, the squad soon grew in number and became known as Davao Death Squad in the early 1990s, he said.
Matobato said he killed about 50 people as a member of the group.
He said he also worked as Mr. Duterte’s security aide in his house and was a ghost employee at City Hall under the Civil Security Unit.
Matobato said he withdrew from the group in September 2013, but he was tortured for a week until he escaped and hid in the provinces of Cebu, Samar and Leyte.
Matobato surrendered to a regional office of Commission on Human Rights on Aug. 21, 2014, but when the CHR told him that it could not protect him, he and his wife went to Manila to apply for the witness protection program (WPP) of the Department of Justice on Sept. 1, 2014.
After Mr. Duterte won the presidential election in May, Matobato said he left the WPP and went into hiding in various provinces in Luzon until he volunteered to testify at the Senate hearing on Thursday. Inquirer Research
Source: Senate hearing on extrajudicial killings, Sept. 15, 2016
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.