Nograles hits De Lima for destabilizing Duterte admin
DAVAO city Rep. Karlo Nograles, a key ally of President Rodrigo Duterte, on Monday called professed hitman Edgar Matobato a false witness and hit Senator Leila De Lima for destabilizing the administration’s promise of change.
Last week, De Lima presented Matobato who testified that he acted on the orders of President Duterte to kill the latter’s critics and rivals when he was Davao city mayor.
In his privilege speech, Nograles said Matobato made incredible claims of killing suspected criminals allegedly upon Duterte’s orders, and of surviving an attack by 30 gunmen.
“This witness was, indeed, a ‘surprise’… The surprise witness was also full of incredible surprises. First off, he claimed he was a hired killer with an incredible kill record of around a thousand murders perpetrated singly and/or in cooperation with other hired killers in the most savage and heinous ways imaginable. Even the most murderous cinematic villain could not measure up to his record of kills,” Nograles said.
He also denied Matobato’s allegation that some of the bodyguards of his father, the former Speaker Prospero Nograles, were killed by the Davao Death Squad at the time his father was running for Davao City mayor against Duterte in 2010.
“My father and I have come out to dispute this lie and set the record straight. No one among the security personnel assigned to him during that period or at any other period during his incumbency as representative of the First District of Davao or as Speaker of the House of Representatives was kidnapped or killed,” Nograles said.
Nograles said the most incredible claim from Matobato was his tale that he survived an attack by 30 gunmen.
“What takes the cake is his tall tale of an unarmed man who amazingly survived even after being shot and hit by no less than 30 gunmen firing at him simultaneously! Daig pa si Rambo, Chuck Norris at ang Terminator!” Nograles said.
Nograles said Matobato’s incredible claims only prove him to be a false witness.
“His testimony has since been proven to be a litany of lies. One by one, people with facts and evidence at their fingertips came out to unravel one lie after the other… This surprise witness has turned out to be a false witness,” Nograles said.
He lamented that the Senate was being used by De Lima as a venue to destabilize the administration’s promise of change.
“More lamentable was how the Chair of the Senate Committee was aiding the false witness, clarifying and explaining testimonial details and facts as if she was the witness herself! She appeared to have swallowed the testimony of the false witness hook, line and sinker, and she was doing her best to make the public swallow the same litany of canards as bible truth as well!” Nograles said.
“The hearing became a blatant mockery of the integrity of legislative inquiries in aid of legislation,” he added.
Nograles said De Lima’s investigation was part of the orchestrated plot to attack the President and destabilize his administration’s war on drugs and criminality.
“What we witnessed in that sad episode of a senate hearing was not a sincere search for truth on the matter of extra judicial killings. What we witnessed was a calculated and unmitigated direct assault on the dignity and reputation of the President of the Republic for reasons I can only surmise as dangerous to the stability of the Republic,” Nograles said.
“The weapon (Matobato) used was a false witness,” he added.
Nograles hinted that there could be a more sinister plot than just destabilizing the administration’s efforts.
“The assault on the dignity and reputation of the sitting President of the Republic has only one ultimate objective – to destroy public trust and confidence in the president. So I ask Mr. Speaker – what is behind this assault on the dignity and reputation of the President? Is the groundwork being laid for something sinister?” Nograles said.
While De Lima led a Senate investigation into the spate of extrajudicial killings at the height of the administration’s war on drugs, the House would conduct an investigation into the alleged Bilibid drug trade implicating De Lima on Tuesday and Wednesday.
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.