Senate panel to recommend perjury, murder raps vs Matobato

MANILA, Philippines – After 6 hearings, the Senate committee on justice and human rights is set to recommend the filing of perjury and murder charges against witness Edgar Matobato, self-confessed assassin of the Davao Death Squad.

Senator Richard Gordon, committee chair, said Matobato should be charged with perjury for his “lies” and murder for admitting to killing at least 50 people. (READ: Edgar Matobato: Liar or truth-teller?)

“Kasama sa report ‘yun, baka ma-perjury sya at the least and at the most, murder charges against him. We will submit it to the proper authority for proper disposition,” Gordon told reporters on Monday, October 16.

“Like I said di mapagkakatiwalaan kanyang statements, kasi noong huli sinabi pabago bago, di inconsistent lang, vital yung inconsistencies” Gordon added.

Presented as a witness by ousted committee head Senator Leila de Lima, Matobato accused President Rodrigo Duterte of ordering killings through the DDS when he was still Davao City mayor.

Other senators, mostly allies of the President, have questioned Matobato’s credibility. (READ: Matobato's hits and misses)

Gordon earlier prohibited Matobato from testifying before the Senate, saying he is already “damaged goods.”

Matobato recently posted bail for the illegal possession of firearms and ammunition filed against him in 2014. He was earlier ordered arrested after failing to attend his arraignment in Davao City, an order that was questioned by by Senator Antonio Trillanes IV.

He is now under the custody of the senator, another Duterte critic. It was Trillanes who provided protective custody to the witness after Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III, party mate of the President, refused the request.

In an interview with Rappler, Matobato said he is ready to face his fate. He maintained his testimony is a way for him to pay for his past sins. –

Camille Elemia

Camille Elemia is Rappler's lead reporter for media, disinformation, and democracy. She won an ILO award in 2017. She received the prestigious Fulbright-Hubert Humphrey fellowship in 2019, allowing her to further study media and politics in the US. Email