Matobato flip-flops on alleged Duterte role in Makdum slay
Confessed assassin Edgar Matobato on Thursday flip-flopped on President Rodrigo Duterte’s alleged role in the killing of a suspected international terrorist when Duterte was still the mayor of Davao City.
At first, Matobato told the joint hearing of the Senate committees on justice and human rights and public order that he was uncertain if Duterte had ordered the killing of Sali Makdum.
He said it was a certain SPO4 Arturo Lascañas who had ordered the kidnapping and killing of the suspected terrorist.
Asked by Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano who ordered Lascañas to abduct and kill Makdum, Matobato said: “Hindi ko na alam, sir, nag-utos.”
“Kasi last hearing pinapapalabas mo si Mayor Duterte ang may utos at sumusunod lang kaming lahat. Ngayon nagbago na ang inyong statement,” Cayetano said.
“Talagang totoo ’man sir … Basta ako wala akong nalalaman d’yan. Pinatawag lang ako so tinuro ko ’man lahat,” said Matobato, who admitted taking part in the killing of Makdum.
“So hindi si Mayor Duterte ang nagpapatay?” the senator asked again, to which the witness said, “Ewan ko lang sir.”
Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV protested, saying Cayetano was giving the committees wrong information.
“If you’d read the transcript, walang sinabi si Mr. Edgar Matobato na si Presidente Duterte ang pumatay, ang nagpautos at pumatay kay Sali Makdum. Meron syang sinabing mga specific cases na nakita nya, narinig nya pero not this one,” Trillanes said.
“So huwag nating i-twist kasi ganun yung nangyayari e. While you’re blaming people, the media, na tini-take ’yung word as fact, pero gusto mo ring i-take ’yung word mo as fact, eh in this case, twisted,” he added.
Matobato also denied that Duterte had anything to do with Makdum’s abduction.
“Walang kinalaman si mayor, sir,” said the witness.
Cayetano pointed out, however, that in Matobato’s affidavit, the witness claimed that Makdum was ordered “liquidated” by Duterte through Lascañas “because he was a suspected terrorist.”
“Sir order ni Mayor Duterte …” the witness said.
“Pero kung titingnan po natin ang transcript kanina, sinabi mo hindi mo alam…” Cayetano said.
“Sir nalilito ako sir, nalilito ako sir. Sorry sir,” Matobato said.
“So anong totoo, order ni Mayor Duterte o hindi?” Cayetano asked again.
“Order ’yan ni Mayor Duterte,” the witness said again.
Matobato said he saw Duterte talking to Lascañas but did not hear them. RC/rga
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