Trillanes: Matobato ‘genuine,’ validates Duterte’s bragging of killings
Sen. Antonio “Sonny” Trillanes IV on Tuesday reaffirmed the credibility of confessed hitman Edgar Matobato, saying the testimonies of the Senate witness just confirmed and validated President Rodrigo Duterte’s previous pronouncements that he had ordered the killing of criminals in his hometown of Davao City.
Trillanes said his colleagues and the public should consider Matobato’s age and experience in scrutinizing his claims.
“I believe Mr. Matobato is genuine. ‘Yung kanyang mga testimonies kailangan nating i-validate one by one dahil itong pagpatay ng tao regular for him,” Trillanes said. “Pigain n’yo muna yung memory banks niya kung may specific instances… Kapag pina-reflect mo talaga sa kanya deeply, flawless ‘yung reflection niya.”
“The President himself admitted na meron silang napatay. He was bragging about it. Minsan nagugulat lang ako sa ibang kasamahan ko na acting as if Duterte is a saint when he never pretended to be one. Ito na mismo yung confirmation and validation ng pinagmamalaki mismo ni President Duterte,” he added.
Trillanes said Matobato’s testimonies “made clear” the existence of the notorious vigilante group Davao Death Squad supposedly under orders from then Mayor Duterte, a serious allegation which he said the Senate should not let just pass.
“Grabe tong allegation na ‘to. We just can’t sweep this under the rag… Kung bogus ito we will fall flat to our faces,” he said.
Trillanes added that there was no deliberate attempt to blindside his colleagues by not presenting Matobato before the Senate leadership before testifying and without a sworn affidavit, adding that it was the prerogative of then justice committee chairman Sen. Leila De Lima to allow the witness to take the stand.
Trillanes said some senators’ manner of questioning was “unfair” to Matobato, considering his level of literacy and educational attainment.
“Hindi fair para kay Mr. Matobato yung naging situation, hinahanapan siya ng butas, nililito siya,” he said.
But Trillanes expressed optimism that his colleagues would be up to the task of investigating Duterte’s alleged link to the DDS and summary executions once the President’s political influence and popularity declined.
“On one hand very popular si President Duterte and nakita nila (senators) nagkaroon ng chilling effect kagaya ng ginagawa kay Sen. De Lima. Very vulnerable sila. Nagga-grapple pa lang sila,” he said.
“Once the popularity wanes and nagsway yung political tied, the senators will be up to the task,” Trillanes added.