Friday, September 16, 2016
Leila de Lima's Edgar Matobato show more like a disappointing TV rerun of senators behaving badly!
Just watched Day 3 of Leila de Lima’s senate hearing on drug-related killings.
You know that feeling when you’re looking forward to the next episode of your favorite TV show, and when it finally comes on, your jaw drops because you realize they’re airing a rerun? That’s what happened today.
After more than two weeks of scrounging around, De Lima still was not able to gather enough material on President Duterte’s alleged involvement in present-day EJK’s, so for today’s episode, she had to make do with old “Davao Death Squad (DDS)” storylines from the years when Duterte was mayor.
Her witness for today was a man named Edgar Matobato who claimed to be a DDS hitman and who has actually been in DOJ custody since De Lima’s time as DOJ Secretary. Matobato gave very detailed accounts of killings involving crocodiles, dance instructors, corpses with stomachs filled with sand to make them sink, etc. As De Lima herself said, “sumasakit ang ulo ko” sa dami ng details.
De Lima did her best to squeeze as many shocking revelations out of Matobato as she could. In fact, unlike other hearings where senators form their questions as the witness gives his testimony, De Lima was constantly one step ahead of Matobato and was practically directing his narration, cueing him on details before he could even say them. For instance, when he said “naghukay noong 2003 . . .”, De Lima impatiently corrected him and said “2009 yon”—she knew exactly what he was referring to, before he even said anything. (Matobato was about to talk about the time De Lima went to Davao to dig up alleged corpses of people killed by DDS.)
Alas, upon cross-examination by the other senators, the holes in Matobato’s statements started coming out.
When asked by Senator Tito Sotto who arranged for him to appear at the Senate today, Matobato said he didn’t want to reveal the person’s name. Sotto prodded some more, saying it was very strange that Matobato was so willing to name the people he killed and who ordered them killed, but he doesn’t want to reveal something as simple as the name of the person who arranged his Senate appearance. Matobato then changed his answer to “Hindi ko alam”.
When Sotto asked if he already gave a written affidavit on the allegations he made today, Matobato said no. De Lima swooped in and said an affidavit would be prepared later. But it was too late, the cat was out of the bag. It is very basic to get an affidavit before allowing a witness to testify, otherwise anyone can make wild accusations about anything without any accountability. The lack of an affidavit indicates Matobato’s televised testimony was being done primarily “for media purposes”, as Senator Sotto hinted. It doesn’t matter if the accusations will be proven false later on. De Lima’s goal, which she achieved, was to put out fresh material for local and international media to spin into new anti-Duterte stories.
There were many inconsistencies in Matobato’s statements. For instance, he claimed to have been a bodyguard of Duterte’s son Paolo since he was a child attending Ateneo de Davao, but one of Paolo Duterte’s schoolmates posted on Facebook that Paolo did not have bodyguards when he was a kid and he went to school in PWC where his mom was a teacher, not Ateneo. Matobato also claimed that President Duterte had the bodyguards of Prospero Nograles, his main political rival in Davao, killed. But Nograles’s son Karlo, who was his father’s chief of staff, issued a statement saying this was a total lie, none of their employees was ever killed for political reasons, and Matobato was being manipulated.
It would take too long to enumerate all of Matobato’s inconsistencies here, because there are so many. There’s a running list going viral on Facebook so people will come across that sooner or later. Senator Ping Lacson, who is a former PNP chief, said it best: “As an expert investigator, Edgar Matobato is not a credible witness.” (Read here) Senate President Koko Pimentel also denied De Lima’s request to put Matobato under the Senate’s protective custody. The yellows will accuse him of being unfair, but really, if Pimentel allowed it, it would set a precedent–every lunatic with a wild story will come to the Senate, make baseless accusations, then seek protection. De Lima should take responsibility for her own stooges.
During the hearing, Senator Alan Cayetano questioned the motive of Leila de Lima and the Liberal Party for staging this zarzuela. He pointed out what everyone already knows: De Lima and the yellows are trying to build a case to impeach President Duterte, and the direct beneficiary if Duterte is ousted would be their partymate Leni Robredo.
It didn’t take long for Robredo to come out with a statement denying any such plot and claiming to be offended by what Cayetano was implying. Earth to Leni. Don’t waste your time issuing denials because no one believes you anyway, not even your handful of supporters who are hoping your plot succeeds.
The best performance for today came from none other than Antonio Trillanes, who did his best to badger Senator Cayetano while Cayetano was questioning Matobato, to the point that Trillanes even switched off Cayetano’s microphone like a child to stop him from talking. Yes, he did. The trilliling knows no limits.
And so, another day was wasted at the Senate of the Philippines on an investigation conducted by a trio of psychos in aid of the yellow party’s agenda. If there was a way to vote De Lima, Trillanes, and Drilon out of the Senate, I think over 90% of the Filipino people would agree. Please DDS, take these three and feed them to the crocodiles. You have our permission.
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