A coached witness
Edgar Matobato, who said he killed for then Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, was a coached witness of Senators Leila de Lima and Antonio Trillanes.
Matobato’s testimony at the Senate committee on justice and human rights on Friday was full of holes.
Let me comment on some of his allegations which were the highlights of his testimony:
On the alleged killing of a foreign terrorist, Sali Macdum, who was supposedly kidnapped in 2002 by men from the Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Task Force (PAOC-TF):
If Macdum really existed he would have been considered a “high-value” captive; he was too valuable to be summarily executed.
Macdum would have been turned over to the Philippine National Police intelligence division, or the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency (Nica), or the Intelligence Service of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (Isafp), which could have extracted information from him.
The above-named agencies would have forced him to point to his allies in the country, what his mission was, etc.
Sen. Ping Lacson, former PNP chief and one of those who attended the Senate hearing, said the PAOCTF had been disbanded in 2002.
On the murder of journalist Juan “Jun” Pala allegedly on orders of Mayor Duterte:
Simple logic tells us that Duterte would become the natural suspect since Pala was his harshest critic.
Digong is much too intelligent and wise to make such a foolish move.
A few years ago, my friends in the underworld, whom I met when I was a police reporter, volunteered to avenge me on a much-publicized airport incident. I had to practically beg them not to do it because I would become the suspected mastermind.
If I, who am not a lawyer, would think that way, so much more Digong who is a former city prosecutor.
On the killing of NBI agent Vicente Amisola by policemen:
Amisola, who was not an NBI agent but a driver of the NBI head in Davao City, was mistaken for a criminal by Davao City policemen as he had a pistol tucked in his hip.
Amisola, according to Matobato, was fast on the draw and shot the leader of the police team that accosted him, and so he was shot by other cops.
If Mayor Duterte was with the policemen, as Matobato claimed, why would Digong waste so many bullets—40 rounds or two magazines of his Uzi machine-pistol—on Amisola who was already lying on the ground after being shot by policemen?
This is assuming that Digong was with the policemen at the time.
The kidnapping and killing of four bodyguards of then Speaker Prospero Nograles by Duterte’s men, also allegedly upon the mayor’s order:
Nograles and Duterte are mortal political enemies; that’s a fact. They are like the proverbial quarreling cat and dog.
Being a holder of the highest position of the land then, Nograles was given Marine bodyguards by then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
Now, if Duterte and his men kidnapped and killed four Marines, the whole Philippine Marine Corps would have run after them.
The Marine Corps is a tightly knit brotherhood; if you kill a Marine doing his job, you incur the anger of the entire corps.
A barangay in Basilan where a platoon of Marines was ambushed in the 1990s incurred the ire of the corps: Its menfolk paid dearly.
(Nograles has already denied Matobato’s allegation that his bodyguards were kidnapped and killed Duterte’s men.)
On the killing of a man with whom Mayor Duterte’s son, Paolo, had a traffic altercation:
If Matobato’s allegation were true, Digong would not have tolerated his son’s crime.
Digong offered to resign as House representative during the term of President Joseph Estrada out of shame after Paolo beat up a security guard.
Digong’s resignation was not accepted as President Erap didn’t have power over members of Congress.
On the abduction and killing of a dance instructor, the alleged boyfriend of Mayor Duterte’s sister, Jocelyn.
If I asked him about this allegation, I’m sure Digong would have answered in his own inimitable way, thus: “Unsa man ang akong labot sa pamiga sa akong igsoon? (Why would I interfere with my sister’s love life?)”
Why would Digong interfere with his sister’s call of the wild, if ever it was true?
On the murder of hotelier Richard King in 2014, allegedly ordered by Paolo Duterte because of a feud over a woman:
Matobato said King was shot dead inside a fast food store but the truth is, the victim was shot inside his office.
I learned from reliable sources that King’s murder was contracted by another billionaire whose wife was having an affair with him.
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