MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – More than two years after Cebu hotelier Richard King was shot dead, a witness has surfaced with new details about the businessman’s killing.
But the testimony of Edgar Matobato, a supposed member of the “Davao Death Squad” (DDS), was called into question after facts in his story differed from what had been previously documented.
In a Senate hearing on Thursday, September 15, Matobato was asked by Senator Panfilo Lacson about the details of King’s murder in June 2014.
Matobato, who said that he was not personally present during the killing, claimed that the Cebu businessman was shot at close range at a McDonald’s restaurant.
But Lacson reminded Matobato that according to previous news reports, King was shot dead inside the Vital C Building in Obrero, Davao City, while he was in a meeting with distributors.
The businessman, owner of the Crown Regency Group of Hotels, died on the spot after suffering from multiple gunshot wounds.
“Mali ang kuwento sa’yo (The story you were told is wrong),” Lacson told Matobato.
On Google Maps, however, the Vital C Building can be seen adjacent to the fast food restaurant that Matobato mentioned.
Earlier, Matobato also said that two rebel returnees – Joel Tapales and Loloy Gabas – were hired to kill King and paid P500,000.
Matobato also claimed that the killers were double-crossed by police and were themselves killed.
He added that he was also implicated in the businessman’s slay so he would be silenced because at the time, he had wanted to get out of DDS – the group of vigilantes blamed for killings in Davao City.
Matobato, however, is not one of the 4 suspects identified by police behind King’s slay.
On June 22, 2014, 3 suspects were arrested over the murder: Paul Labang, whom police identified as the gunman, and siblings Rodel dela Cerna and Rommel dela Cerna. Rommel supposedly conducted the surveillance, while Rodel drove the get-away motorcycle.
A fourth suspect, Police Superintendent Leonardo Felonia, was later charged with murder in September 2014 over the killing.
Matobato also claimed that Davao City Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte ordered the killing of the Cebu businessman because they were “rivals” over a woman. – Rappler.com
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