Senate panel recommends perjury, murder raps vs Matobato
A joint panel in the Senate that investigated alleged extrajudicial killings in the country has recommended the filing of criminal charges against confessed assassin Edgar Matobato for perjury and the murder of a suspected international terrorist Sali Makdum.
The recommendation was part of an 86-page report prepared by the Senate committees on justice and human rights, and public order and dangerous drugs, and signed by 11 senators.
“The committee recommends the filing of criminal charges against Matobato for perjury and the murder of Sali Makdum and should order the investigation of the remains of Sali Makdum,” the report said.
Matobato, who claimed to be a former member of the so-called Davao Death Squad, has accused President Rodrigo Duterte of ordering the killings of criminals and enemies in Davao City when he was still the mayor there.
He earlier claimed that it was Duterte who ordered Makdum’s killing.
But the report noted that Matobato’s testimonies were “full of inconsistencies and contradictions.”
“Obviously, Edgar Matobato was presented to implicate President Duterte in the spate of killings, following his order to the police to ‘kill’ drug suspects,” it said.
“Unfortunately, Matobato is not a credible witness and his tale is just too tall to be believed to implicate the President in the rash of killings not all of which are attributable to the police,” the report further said.
Aside from the filing of cases against Matobato, the joint panel also ordered an immediate investigation and proper filing of charges on other cases that were discussed and discovered during its investigation, including the complaints of the Commission on Human Rights.
In particular, the joint panel recommended the prosecution of the policemen allegedly involved in the killing of Zenaida Luz, regional chairperson of Citizens Crime Watch in Oriental Mindoro, who was gunned down on October 9, 2016. CDG/rga
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