During the third session of Senate hearing, a person surfaced under the name of Edgar Matobato. For many, he exposed several issues concerning with the implementation of extrajudicial executions in the Philippines. Edgar's statements are fruitful as he exposed several issues concerning the application of a very rigid law enforcement style that irked the public. However, many are still questioning about the real identity of this person who stormed the mass media by dropping a trending issue that caught the attention of the public.
Let us start with the basic information about this interesting witness presented by the Senate. Edgar Matobato is already 57, which is obvious as it is already evident by her hair color and aging appearance. He is believed to be a native of Samal island in Davao Del Norte. As based on his early life, Edgar's socio-economic lifestyle belongs to the lower class family where he was fishing for a living. Therefore, he was recognized by the elderly population in Samal as a fisherman because Samal island is abundant in marine resources, allowing every citizen to take advantage of fishing to earn a living.
This means that Edgar Matobato works for the special action force unit of Davao City's police force by being involved with the execution of repeat offenders in the city for several years. He served as an asset for the Philippine National Police, investigating several suspected dealers and users of prohibited narcotics in Davao City. He claims that he was hired to execute notorious dealers and manufacturers of illegal substance trade in the city for several years. He insists that he worked for the Davao City Death Squad along with the intelligence officers of the Philippine National Police.
He also worked as a member of the CAFGU (Citizen Armed Forces Geographical Unit) in Davao Del Norte. He rendered his service between 1982 and 1988 before Rody Roa Duterte was elected as Davao City Mayor in 1988. As a member of CAFGU, Edgar finally has a regular job with a regular monthly salary with benefits provided by the Philippine government. While working as a CAFGU personnel, he improved his military skills, prompting his confidence to go against criminal offenders and rebel groups in his territory of responsibility.
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Watch Edgar Matobato's video presentation
Matobato claims that during the term of Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, he formed a new task force that is composed of 7 members. Duterte referred to the group as "Lambada Boys". The group was the first squad being ordered to execute notorious criminal offenders where Matobato was one of them. The group grew and became more invincible in Davao City.
As a former member of Davao City Death Squad in 1990's Matobato claims that he already executed more than 50 offenders. His participation is just a fraction of what the group has been totally imposing across Davao City for several years. He seem to have no regrets with his past participation with the group behind the executions of notorious criminal offenders.
Edgar claims that he was given the privilege as a ghost employee, receiving salaries without the knowledge of the government while working as a member of the elite squad. Edgar also worked as a security aide to Rodrigo Duterte's home in Davao City.
When Edgar realized that it is already time for him to retire and rest, he managed to apply for resignation to leave the group. However, his separation did not end happily as he was tortured for several days. Edgar managed to escape from the hellish treatment of the group and then made himself invisible by hiding to various provinces away from Mindanao island.
Edgar went to Bohol, Cebu, Leyte, Panay, and Samar, which is several kilometers away from Mindanao and Davao City. Matobato went into hiding along with his family.
After several years of hiding, Edgar decided to surrender to the Commission on Human Rights' regional office on the 21st of August in 2014 and is willing to reveal any relevant information pointing to his knowledge about Davao City's elite squad.
The commission advised Edgar to seek protection from the government by applying under the witness protection program, he went to Manila to file for his case one month after his surrender to the regional office.
On September 15, 2016, Edgar Matobato volunteered to serve as a witness to the extrajudicial killings. However, he was denied by Senator Koko Pimentel due to inconsistencies with his statements, prompting him to leave the Senate.
Edgar Matobato is still hopeful that he will be granted under the witness protection program privilege by the government.
What are your thoughts about him?