DAVAO CITY, Philippines – An arrest warrant was issued Monday, March 6, for Edgar Matobato, the self-confessed ex-member of the so-called Davao Death Squad, in connection with a frustrated murder case.
The frustrated murder case was filed last September 23 against Matobato by retired agrarian reform adjudicator Abeto Salcedo Jr, who identified the alleged former gun-for-hire as the person who tried to kill him in an ambush attempt in 2014.
The warrant was issued by Digos City Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 19 Judge Carmelita Davin.
Salcedo told Rappler that Digos Assistant Prosecutor Lizajen Saromines-Tancinco called him at about 3 pm Monday to inform him that the warrant of arrest was out.
Salcedo identified Matobato as the gunman who ambushed him back in 2014 after seeing the suspect appear in a televised Senate hearing on extrajudicial killings last September 15.
Salcedo, at the time an adjudicator at the Department of Agrarian Reform Adjudication Board (DARAB) XI, was ambushed in Digos City, Davao del Sur on October 23, 2014. (READ: Ambush survivor: ‘Matobato tried to kill me in 2014’)
The incident happened when Matobato was supposed to have been under the Witness Protection Program of the Department of Justice in September 2014, in connection with the Davao Death Squad investigation.
Salcedo said he sustained 6 gunshot wounds, and 3 bullets are still inside his body – one in his left knee, one in his large intestine, and the 3rd bullet in his spinal cord.
“I clearly remember his eyes, nose, and mouth, every attribute, including his ball cap. He is the same person who tried to kill me on October 23, 2014,” Salcedo said back in September 2016, after seeing Matobato on television.
Sources in the province said an official at the time had been pressuring Salcedo to reverse a ruling over a huge tract of land that was being eyed for a venture with foreign investors.
Salcedo retired from office in January 2016. – Rappler.com