Edgar Matobato: Liar or truth-teller?

buddywbuddyw Member PEx Influencer ⭐⭐⭐
Edgar Matobato: Liar or truth-teller

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MANILA, Philippines – He’s either a shameless, well-trained prevaricator, a repentant truth-teller, or someone caught in between.

57-year-old Edgar Matobato appeared twice before partisan senators who grilled him and tried to assert that his shocking revelations about the infamous Davao Death Squad (DDS) and President Rodrigo Duterte were too incredible to be true.

Practically illiterate after completing only Grade 1 many decades ago, he was made to look stupid and inconsistent in his narration of what he knew. The son of a forest ranger who planted coffee and corn to support his family, the short, stocky Edgar with streaks of silver hair showed little traces of a man who had witnessed and even participated in the killing of hundreds of people – many of them criminals who were a menace to Davao.

They were drug pushers, snatchers, hold-uppers, land-grabbers, and they all deserved to die, he thought. Edgar took pride in his job.

He says his was among the names listed under Davao city hall’s civil security unit (CSU), which watched over markets, schools, and terminals to keep them safe – even if his job was nowhere near that.

Among the “ghost employees” of city hall, he received from P5,000 ($103.80)* to P6,000 ($124.54)* a month, hardly enough to feed a family. His covert job was to kill.

He says he has proof of his ties to the city government of Davao. “Maski wala akong grado, mangmang akong tao, kung may papel ay tinatago ko. Hindi man ako marunong magbasa. Basta nilalagay ko lang diyan (Even if I'm uneducated and I’m illiterate, I keep documents. Even if I don’t know how to read. I just keep them)."

On Monday, September 26, Senator Antonio Trillanes IV presented documents that supported Edgar’s claims about his links to Davao city hall – among them, an identification card bearing his name and signature and which indicates he was an “auxiliary service worker”; a service card which however listed his date of birth as June 11, 1961 (he was born in 1957); and job orders issued in 2013 by the authority of the city mayor then, Rodrigo Duterte.

He started out as a member of the Civilian Home Defense Force (CHDF), a paramilitary unit tasked to help maintain peace and order, and fight insurgents. Later, the CHDF, under the supervision and control of governors and mayors, became associated with human rights abuses and was disbanded. After Marcos, the CHDF was transformed into the Citizen Armed Force Geographical Unit (Cafgu), an irregular auxillary force of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

Edgar Bernal Matobato was an early witness to violence. By his own account, when he was 18 or so, supposed members of the communist New People’s Army (NPA) who were in need of guns, swooped down on their home near the Mt Apo National Park and demanded guns.

“Sabi ng tatay ko, huwag 'nyo galawin ang pamilya ko. Kung kailangan 'nyo ng baril ko, ibibigay ko. Hindi ako lalaban. Siyempre noon, malakas ang NPA. So ako ang nagbigay. Kinuha ko sa taas ang baril tapos binigay ko sa mga NPA iyong baril. Pagkatapos iyong tatay ko hinawakan ng 4 na tao, pinutulan ng ulo sa harapan ko. Lumalakad pa nga sa bakuran namin iyong katawan, walang ulo. Pagkatapos tinusok sa kahoy, ginanyan sa lupa, binandera ang ulo ng tatay ko,” he narrates.

(My father told them, don’t touch my family. If you need my gun, I will give it. I won’t put up a fight. Of course at the time, the NPA was strong. So I was the one who gave the gun. I got it from upstairs and handed it to the NPA. Afterwards 4 men held my father and beheaded him in front of me. His headless body even walked around in our backyard. Afterwards they placed his head on a wooden stake, did this on the ground, and paraded it.)

That killing left such an impression he swore he would avenge it and seek justice for his father.

Duterte links

From 1988 to 2013, hundreds were killed in the 25-year span of Edgar’s service to Davao's CSU. He has linked President Duterte to the Davao Death Squad (DDS), the only one who has dared to do so.

Duterte has consistently denied the accusations, his defenders and allies also saying there have been no direct links established between Duterte and the DDS.

Everything is hearsay and a political agenda is also suspect.

Duterte's running mate in the 2016 elections, Senator Alan Peter Cayetano, aggressively badgered Edgar, pointing out how in his testimonies, he jumped from "pretending to have personal knowledge" to "hearsay."

To prove his point, Cayetano said Matobato's sworn statement to the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) on September 4, 2014, names a certain policeman, Senior Police Officer 2 Reynante Medina, as being the alleged killer of wealthy Cebu businessman Richard King. In the hearing of the Senate committee on justice and human rights, however, Matobato said King was killed by two rebel returnees.

From 1988 to 2013, hundreds were killed in the 25-year span of Edgar’s service to Davao's CSU. He has linked President Duterte to the Davao Death Squad (DDS), the only one who has dared to do so.

Duterte has consistently denied the accusations, his defenders and allies also saying there have been no direct links established between Duterte and the DDS.

Everything is hearsay and a political agenda is also suspect.

Duterte's running mate in the 2016 elections, Senator Alan Peter Cayetano, aggressively badgered Edgar, pointing out how in his testimonies, he jumped from "pretending to have personal knowledge" to "hearsay."

To prove his point, Cayetano said Matobato's sworn statement to the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) on September 4, 2014, names a certain policeman, Senior Police Officer 2 Reynante Medina, as being the alleged killer of wealthy Cebu businessman Richard King. In the hearing of the Senate committee on justice and human rights, however, Matobato said King was killed by two rebel returnees.

Handiwork of the Davao Death Squad

With very little education, Edgar started out as a cook before he became part of CSU. In his affidavit submitted to the NBI in 2014, Edgar said he was briefed that his real job would be to “carry out hits for Rodrigo Duterte” through Senior Police Officer 4 Arthur Lascañas, a junior policeman at the time.

In the same affidavit, he said 35 CSU contractual employees, including him, were also members of the DDS. Unlike the rest, however, he took direct orders only from Lascañas because, according to Edgar, he served as Lascañas’ personal bodyguard. He reported “exclusively” to Lascañas.

In Davao City, according to Edgar, practically all killings are perpetrated by the DDS. “Walang ibang pumapatay sa Davao. Buo ang loob ng pumapatay sa Davao. Hindi nakakapasok ang ibang kriminal. Ang nakakapasok doon ay mga holdaper lang, sa mga taxi-taxi. Iyong mga ibang krimen, wala. Iyong ibang krimen, mga patayan, iyon personal. Pero iyong binabaril ka, na DDS ang nagtrabaho, walang investigation iyan.”

(No one else kills in Davao. Those who do are determined to kill. Other criminals are unable to enter. The only ones able to get through are hold-uppers of taxis. Other crimes, none. The other crimes that involve killings are personal in nature. But the shootings done by DDS, those are not investigated.)

How do they operate? They ride motorcycles and shoot their targets up close. It’s easier to kill in a crowd because the target is unaware that he or she is being eyed. A bigger mass of people creates more walls of anonymity.

After a kill, says Edgar, hitmen walk, they never run. They casually walk away and blend with the crowd. Nobody reports, the cops come. The police usually stay away during an operation. Only when the job is done do they come to supposedly investigate. But nothing ever happens to those investigations.

Wanting out

Just 3 years ago, in early 2013, Edgar recalls, they took 3 women from an apartment in Barangay Obrero. They were probably aged 17, 18, or 20. Who knows for sure? They were suspected of having links to illegal drugs and were picked up by his group.

Blindfolded, the women were brought down from a car they were hauled in then stabbed repeatedly. Their genitals were fondled while they were in the car, before they were killed.

The young women's fate pricked Edgar’s conscience. They were mere drug suspects and killing them that way did not seem right. For the very first time, he started to entertain thoughts of leaving.

But just like a mafia, it isn’t that easy to walk away. Once in, it’s almost impossible to get out. That was the case with “Ega” of Samal Island married to a certain “Austria”. He was asked to join an operation only to be killed. Then there was “Enriquez” of Tibungco also in Davao City, who was run over and killed. Both of them wanted to leave, Edgar says.

In September 2013, Edgar told Lascañas he wanted out and that he just wanted to make a decent living. After all, he was already old.

As a supposed trusted man of Duterte, Lascañas became among the most powerful policemen in Davao. He was with the Davao Metropolitan District Command Center (Metrodiscom) during the time of Ferdinand Marcos, informed sources say.

“Kapag hindi ka dumaan kay Arthur, hindi ka makakaposisyon sa posisyon mo (You wouldn’t get to your post without passing through Arthur),” Edgar attests. The two of them were like brothers. They slept and ate together. And shared the same secrets.

Edgar stopped reporting for "work," euphemism for killing operations, and instead became a bodyguard of an unnamed American who was doing tunnel work in Samal Island back then. Even if Edgar could not speak English, they somehow understood each other and got along. Edgar was, however, aware that it was just a matter of time before members of the DDS would go after a desserter who knew too much.

Edgar claims that pinning the 2014 death of the Cebu businessman King on him was their way of nailing him. He was the perfect fall guy for a murder, that he claims, he did not commit. He was supposed to point to Police Superintendent Leonardo Felonia as the supposed mastermind, which Edgar also refused to do.

If Edgar’s story is to be believed, the murder was prompted by King and Duterte’s son Paolo reportedly fighting over a woman named Helen Chua.

Witness protection

Aware of the fate that could befall him, from Davao Edgar traveled to Cebu. He moved to Leyte and Samar where he went into hiding before heading to Manila to seek the help of fellow-Waray, broadcaster Ted Failon. But there were forms to be filled up, and there was a long wait which led nowhere. He returned to Tacloban then traveled back to Samar.

Desperate to seek protection, he approached the Commission on Human Rights in Tacloban and was advised to proceed to the Department of Justice (DOJ) because the Commission could not guarantee his safety. He hailed a taxi and asked to be brought to the DOJ in September of 2014. At that time, now Senator Leila de Lima was justice secretary.

Edgar walked up to the DOJ guard that day and told him he was from Mindanao and he was surrendering. The guard got nervous and quickly called security. Edgar was brought face to face with the executive director of the Witness Protection Program at the time, lawyer Martin Meñez, who was also De Lima's head executive assistant.

He was brought to the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) where he narrated what he knew. He stayed 4 days telling a story he would keep repeating to this day. On the 5th day, he was brought to a safehouse.

Edgar stayed under the WPP for about two years, and knew it was time to leave when Duterte became the imminent winner in the 2016 presidential elections. Meñez was leaving his post, and so were the other appointees of former president Benigno Aquino III, including De Lima. It was no longer going to be safe.

Out of the WPP, Edgar found himself in the halls of the Senate, where he was shamed for not knowing the difference between packing tape and "masking tape," which, he says, they used when they disposed of dead bodies. The hostility in the Senate he can live with, he says. After all, he has sins he needs to pay for.

Miracle?

Were it not for his live-in partner of 10 years now he would have already killed himself. He says he also found hope in the unlikeliest of places: a heap of garbage where he saw an image of the Virgin Mary.

As he was throwing trash a few days before his birthday, he saw her lying among the trash, dirty but whole. He picked up the image, wiped it clean with his fingers, and kept it. Perhaps it is a sign, he says, that things will be better.
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"This is what gives me strength every night, every single day. I don't have dreams, but she's just there. It's like she was given to me, for me to return to God," he says in Filipino.

He made a makeshift altar for her, picked up an empty iPhone box, arranged white cotton and glued the icon to the box so the Virgin appears surrounded by a bed of clouds.

He shifts in tone when asked if he knew what to say given a chance to speak with the President. He does not hesitate one bit:

Edgar admits he is tired.

But he defiantly says: "Ito lang masasabi ko, totoong tao ako. Basta iisa lang ang salita ko. Kung ano ang isipin sa akin, tatanggapin ko, pero hindi ako magpapakulong, magpapakamatay ako. Hindi ako magpapakulong."

(This is all I can say, I am a real person. I keep my word. I will accept whatever others think of me, but I will not go to jail, I will kill myself. I will not allow myself to go to jail.)

Edgar Matobato would still take pride in his last handiwork.
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Comments

  • d3rckd3rck Member PExer
    I don't even want to bother reading this BS...

    One question before we make articles about him "being caught in the middle"...

    Why after 2 years of being under the Witness Protection Program, why did he VOLUNTARILY LEAVE the protection and he even WAITED FOR THE PRESIDENT TO be ELECTED FIRST before COMING OUT.

    Answer: Political Gain. No he's not caught in the middle. He's a PAWN of a political rival. As simple as that.

    Other than being a pawn, he's an id1ot.
  • _UP__UP_ Member PExer
    Yesterday, GMA News interviewed him. He said something like this, how can you recall the exact details on who you have killed when you do not "BRING ballpen and notebook" when killing them?

    He has a point there.

    Without knowing the exact details, I will ask dutertards honestly if they can say the exact details.
    1.) Can you recall the exact day when did you have your first communion? or even your confirmation? (For Catholics)
    2.) Can you remember the exact date when did you have your circumcision and who did the surgery?
    3.) Can you remember the full name of your Elementary teachers?
    4.) Can you name your seatmate in Grade 2? Who was at your left? Who was the person at your back?
    5.) Can you remember your grade in Philosophy 1?

    The questions asked by senators are somewhat like these. They want to know the details and kapag magkamali ka, WALA ka na daw credibility.

    Kaya nga nung sinabi ni Matobato kahapon na, ano yun, kapag papatay ako, kailangan ko magdala ng BALLPEN at PAPEL at ilista ko ang mga details ng information ng pinatay ko? :lol: napaisip ako, magbigay sya ng mga ma-rerecall nya at kapag may evidences sya to prove kahit isa lang then he might be saying the truth all this time.
  • KAGEMUSHAKAGEMUSHA Nobody! PExer
    _UP_ wrote: »
    Yesterday, GMA News interviewed him. He said something like this, how can you recall the exact details on who you have killed when you do not "BRING ballpen and notebook" when killing them?

    He has a point there.

    Without knowing the exact details, I will ask dutertards honestly if they can say the exact details.
    1.) Can you recall the exact day when did you have your first communion? or even your confirmation? (For Catholics)
    2.) Can you remember the exact date when did you had your circumcision and who did that?
    3.) Can you remember the full name of your Elementary teachers?
    4.) Can you name your seatmate in Grade 2? Who is at your left? What is the person at your back?
    5.) Can you remember your grade in Philosophy 1?

    The questions asked by senators are somewhat like these. They want to know the details and kapag magkamali ka, WALA ka na daw credibility.

    Kaya nga nung sinabi ni Matobato kahapon na, ano yun, kapag papatay ako, kailangan ko magdala ng BALLPEN at PAPEL at ilista ko ang mga details ng information ng pinatay ko? :lol: napaisip ako, magbigay sya ng mga ma-rerecall nya at kapag may evidences sya to prove kahit isa lang then he might be saying the truth all this time.

    kahit naman yung simpleng info, sabit sya.

    Grade 1 lang daw sya,mahirap bang tandaan yun?
    :rolleyes:
  • _UP__UP_ Member PExer
    KAGEMUSHA wrote: »
    kahit naman yung simpleng info, sabit sya.

    Grade 1 lang daw sya,mahirap bang tandaan yun?
    :rolleyes:

    pero we are talking the dates late 1980s,1990s, early 2000. Yes,mahirap talaga. Kahit ako ang alam ko lang dyan ay yung #5. 1.25 ang grade ko. :lol:
    basta ang alam ko nag-first communion ako at nagconfirmation. Dates wala na akong alam. Kahit yung pagpapatuli ang alam ko lang ay yung clinic. Yung doctor, di ko kilala basta kamag-anak ko. yung number 3. First name lang. Full name hindi. #4, wala na akong alam sino ang seatmates ko.

    Yun din ang mahirap, Grade 1 sya. So expect mo mahina ang utak. Mahina talaga, yung ibang dutertards nga di ba nakapag-aral hanggang college pero bob0 din sa comprehension. What do you expect from a Grade 1? Ang sa akin lang, may mga lapses sa mga statements nya kasi for sure sa tagal na ng mga nangyari, details ay di mo na maalala. Pero this person has been saying the names he has killed or someone asked him to kill these victims. Kaya nga sabi ko, if he can prove at least 1 incident na pinatay nya yung tao at ang nag-utos ay yung mga tauhan ni Duterte or kahit si Duterte, maniniwala ka ba sa kanya?
  • fattyacidfattyacid Aim 2014 🐯 Tiger Squad🥈
    rappler ang source ng article? wow umaapaw ang credibility. alam na!
  • _UP__UP_ Member PExer
    fattyacid wrote: »
    rappler ang source ng article? wow umaapaw ang credibility. alam na!

    are you saying ManilaStandards is credible? :lol:
  • fattyacidfattyacid Aim 2014 🐯 Tiger Squad🥈
    _UP_ wrote: »
    are you saying ManilaStandards is credible? :lol:

    and Rappler is credible?:rotflmao:
  • _knorr__knorr_ 2017 Person of the Year PEx Influencer ⭐⭐⭐
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  • _UP__UP_ Member PExer
    fattyacid wrote: »
    and Rappler is credible?:rotflmao:

    Oo credible ang rappler. So going back to my question, what is your answer? :rotflmao: :rotflmao:
  • fattyacidfattyacid Aim 2014 🐯 Tiger Squad🥈
    ON DUTY na twist ka-knorr...try harder...twist pa more, twist ka-knorr. haha
  • _knorr__knorr_ 2017 Person of the Year PEx Influencer ⭐⭐⭐
    fattyacid wrote: »
    ON DUTY na twist ka-knorr...try harder...twist pa more, twist ka-knorr. haha

    op kors, ka log in ko lang. Ikaw kanina pa :p
  • d3rckd3rck Member PExer
    _knorr_ wrote: »
    op kors, ka log in ko lang. Ikaw kanina pa :p

    500 pesos lang un mga id na yan sa Recto. As long as hindi confirmed ng government na CAFGU talaga si Matobato wala parin yan.

    Also, simpleng mga detalye hindi nya kaya matandaan tapos totoo na pinag sasabi nya? Pag nagigipit sasabihin "basta totoo sinasabi ko".

    Emphasizing on motives: 2 years sya sa luob ng Witness Protection Program tapos hindi man lang naghain ng kaso si Delimaw? Looks to me tinago *** sya as a political leverage. Magkanu kaya un tax na ginamit para maitago un hayop na to?

    Also, sya po nag bolontaryo na mag salita sa Public. Looks like binayaran sya. Alangan naman na bigla nalang sya nakunsyensya.

    Another thing, kung lumantad sya nung election sana hindi sha kaduda duda. Pero lalantad sya ngayon may posisyon na si Du30? Obvious na obvious.

    Totoo tao daw sya? [email protected]!
  • liar!
    his own family and relatives DISOWNED him!
    pwehhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!
  • KAGEMUSHAKAGEMUSHA Nobody! PExer
    liar!
    his own family and relatives DISOWNED him!
    pwehhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!

    labs na labs ni kaKnorr yan.
  • KAGEMUSHAKAGEMUSHA Nobody! PExer
    _UP_ wrote: »
    pero we are talking the dates late 1980s,1990s, early 2000. Yes,mahirap talaga. Kahit ako ang alam ko lang dyan ay yung #5. 1.25 ang grade ko. :lol:
    basta ang alam ko nag-first communion ako at nagconfirmation. Dates wala na akong alam. Kahit yung pagpapatuli ang alam ko lang ay yung clinic. Yung doctor, di ko kilala basta kamag-anak ko. yung number 3. First name lang. Full name hindi. #4, wala na akong alam sino ang seatmates ko.

    Yun din ang mahirap, Grade 1 sya. So expect mo mahina ang utak. Mahina talaga, yung ibang dutertards nga di ba nakapag-aral hanggang college pero bob0 din sa comprehension. What do you expect from a Grade 1? Ang sa akin lang, may mga lapses sa mga statements nya kasi for sure sa tagal na ng mga nangyari, details ay di mo na maalala. Pero this person has been saying the names he has killed or someone asked him to kill these victims. Kaya nga sabi ko, if he can prove at least 1 incident na pinatay nya yung tao at ang nag-utos ay yung mga tauhan ni Duterte or kahit si Duterte, maniniwala ka ba sa kanya?

    stop it..
    kahit ganito kabobo ang isang tao, hindi makakalimutan yung natapos nya.
    at hindi porke grade 1 lang ang natapos ay bobo na.
  • DunedainDunedain NINJAneer gone Indie! PEx Influencer ⭐⭐⭐
    LIAR. Too many inconsistencies to his claimed "testimony". Matobato even has Miranda rights, but everything he said are just filled with inconsistencies. In any court, PURGERY is a serious offense. Whatever he claimed he is to be, he'd better have the balls to stand for whatever he claims. Even if he claimed to be Grade 1 when in his affidavit that he submitted (as clarified by Gordon) says he made it to Grade 3. Again: INCONSISTENCY. Even Pacquiao insisted that Matobato's claims are just simply filled with INCONSISTENCY.
  • Only the 0.2% would like convince everybody he is not a liar for their own agenda. They know he is lying. Let us not kid ourselves. But, telling the truth doesn't get them paid.
  • IMO, Matobato is telling Half-truth and Half Lies. Nagkakaproblema dahil hawak siya nina De Lima at Trillanes. Most of the killings he is saying maybe true, unfortunately there is no direct link between the killings and Duterte. Yan ang problema, pilit gustong iconnect nina Delima at Trillanes yung ginawang killings ni Matobato kay Duterte. Doon sa point na yun lumilitaw ang inconsistencies. Maaring may group talaga na kinaaaniban si Matobato na pumapatay sa Davao City, but kung DDS man yun o hindi, hindi malinaw. At lalong hindi malinaw na inuutos yun ni Duterte dahil wala talagang first hand knowledge si Matobato na inuutos ni Duterte ang pagpatay. Mostlly inassume niya lang na utos yun ni Duterte at yun ang gustong palabasin nina De Lima at Trillanes. Pero alam naman natin lahat, kahit di tayo abogado, hindi tatanggapin ng court ang mga second hand information kung walang supporting documents or another witness na magcocoraborate. Kasalanan ng dalawang Senator kung bakit nagmumukhang sinungaling si Matobato, gusto kasi nilang masatisfy ang kanilang agenda na kahit paano maconnect si Duterte sa killings and DDS na so far wala talagang direct witness or link na makapagsasabi na si Duterte ang naguutos sa pagpatay. Alam yan definitely ni Delima, dahil sa more or less isang dekada na niyang hinahabol si Duterte pero ni isang kaso hindi niya nasampahan sa korte si Duterte dahil wala talagang convincing evidence sa gustong niyang conclusion kay Duterte.
  • xpopcornxxpopcornx Member PEx Influencer ⭐⭐⭐
    HALF-TRUTH pede :)
  • d3rckd3rck Member PExer
    Even his family calls him as a person who likes to make stories. In short, a liar.

    P.S. They also mentioned mahilig sya mangotong at mag akusa.
This discussion has been closed.