Gone, Matobato, gone

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RIGOBERTO D. TIGLAO

RIGOBERTO D. TIGLAO

Admitted killer Edgar Matobato – who had claimed he was a member of the purported Davao Death Squad, and whose sensational testimony against Rodrigo Duterte was probably expected by Senators Leila de Lima and Antonio Trillanes 4th to trigger events that would topple the President — is gone, both literally and figuratively.

Matobato will be going the way of previous fake “star whistleblowers” like Ador Mawanay and Rodolfo “Jun” Lozada, forgotten, with everyone incredulous how they had their moments of fame when their tall tales were taken hook, line, and sinker.

Even the prestigious New York Times on September 15 ran an unusually long (for one on a Southeast Asian country) report headlined: “Rodrigo Duterte Ordered Philippine Killings, Professed Hit Man Testifies.”

The article even had an embedded 5-minute video clip entitled “Life on Duterte’s Death Squad” of Matobato relating his yarn in which he made shocking claims, for example: “We would throw the body there at sea. We would tie bricks to it, the abdomen cut open so the insides were exposed, so it will sink.” The clip didn’t even have any interviewer probing it to see if he was lying or not. It only had Matobato talking, the New York Times implicitly judging that he was telling the truth.


“We were all taken for a ride by Mr. Matobato. And it’s so frustrating that after all, we’re not smarter than the first grader,” Senator Panfilo Lacson said, in reference to Matobato’s first grade education, in the Senate hearing Monday.

Justice committee chair Sen. Richard Gordon exposed in the hearing that Senator Leila de Lima had not disclosed that Matobato was charged with kidnapping for ransom of a one Makdum, whom the admitted gun-for-hire alleged was killed by Duterte’s “death squad” — with the President even knocking all of the poor man’s teeth using his golf club.

What, no more “whistleblower”? Newspapers’ front pages Sept. 15 and Oct. 4

What, no more “whistleblower”? Newspapers’ front pages Sept. 15 and Oct. 4

Seething, Gordon said: “Matobato’s kidnapping case is a vital piece of information. A very critical piece of information that should have been revealed here… In order to evade the light of scrutiny, Matobato deliberately misled us, to make us believe that he had no case, that in fact, it was not him and other people, and that it happened at a different date, and most important of all, he implicated other people here, who per NBI investigation, are not even part of that investigation.”

After a heated exchange between him and De Lima, after the lady senator’s walkout — her second — and after Gordon was about to call Matobato to explain his lies, he was informed that the “whistleblower” had vanished, spirited out by Trillanes’ staff when his kidnapping case was revealed.

A note from Trillanes’ office, who had put Matobato under his protection, reported that the admitted gun-for-hire “was no longer available to answer the panel’s questions, that he had to leave so his security won’t be compromised.”

Suddenly disappeared
That, of course, angered Gordon. He said: “Para bang nu’ng nabuko na, biglang nawala na. (It’s like, when his lies have been exposed, he suddenly disappears.”

The committee, with Trillanes keeping quiet and with de Lima having walked out of the hearing, voted to suspend the hearings indefinitely.

The committee might resume the hearing, to focus on its original intention to investigate charges of numerous extrajudicial killings undertaken as part of Duterte’s “war” against the illegal-drug industry – and not, as De Lima steered the hearing, to the alleged death squad in Davao when Duterte was its city mayor.

But nobody is betting that Matobato will ever appear again, what with the kidnapping for ransom and another murder charge (filed by a survivor) against him likely to be revived. I’ll bet a month’s salary that Trillanes would just tell the committee he couldn’t find Matobato anymore. And I don’t think Catholic nuns, as they did with Lozada, would keep Matobato, who looks as if he really had killed 50 people as he claimed, in their nunnery.

From the start, the credibility of Matobato’s testimony was shot down for its factual inaccuracies; for instance, Matobato claimed that Duterte ordered the killing of the bodyguards of Prospero Nograles, who was the mayor’s political rival in Davao. Nograles’ son quickly retorted that all their bodyguards were still alive and kicking, and while they might be Duterte’s political rivals, they belonged to one clan, who wouldn’t go on a shooting war against each other.

One major indication that this Matobato chapter is closed is De Lima’s walkout, which she had announced she was doing because Gordon accused her of concealing the fact that the fake whistleblower faced a kidnapping charge, which she said “pained” her.

That’s obviously a very flimsy excuse, and looks more like a pretext to get out of the Senate as her plot with Matobato was totally exposed. Kapatiran Party Rizalito David, a staunch defender of de Lima, however, has a different explanation. He claims in his Facebook post that “walking out is what wives (legitimately) do when husbands fail to do what they are supposed to do (David even astonishingly claimed in his post: “Mga syoki lang di nakakaintindi niyan” (Only gays do not understand that.” What? I, and most Filipinos, are syokis?)

It’s the end of this Matobato episode, and people will forget about him they have forgotten about alleged star “whistleblowers” like Ador Mawanay and Rodolfo “Jun” Lozada, who turned out to be charlatans.

It is another case study of how a biased media manipulates people’s minds. It was astonishing – or not – that none of the above accounts of the Senate hearing, which demolished Matobato’s yarn, was reported at all in all broadsheets.

Contrast that to screaming headlines on September 16 when Matobato first appeared: Philippine Star: “Executioner Emerges”; Philippine Daily Inquirer: ‘Duterte Ordered Us To Kill’.

Did these newspapers report the Senate hearing the other day that demolished Matobato’s allegations? Not at all. They solely reported the denial of the “Davao Death Squad” by the four Davao policemen, whom Matobato had accused of staffing that group. The New York Times had not published any story that the Senate hearing Monday demonstrated that Matobato was telling lies.

Years from now, those with gullible minds would still claim that there was an eye-witness to Duterte’s dark deeds in Davao, but that he had just vanished.

tiglao.manilatimes@gmail.com

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46 Comments

  1. Every time I read your commentaries Mr. Tiglao i can still fell your pains and how you hated the people who put down your beloved, PGMA. I will blessed the day you move on and when your feed your children honest to goodness earnings by not being, a barking dog. PGMA who sold this country to China and for Pdut who has not heard your cries for a descent position in his government. At your age Mr. Tiglao wisdom has left you for you still are quite dumb and inept to the changing times that eventually truth rules and in the end Good triumph over evil. Wake up aspire for truth and maybe history will be kind to you.

  2. Well, De Lima had started all these dilemma presenting Matobato…and they both walked out?…who are we to believe on one person like Matobato over many policemen against his testimony. Afterall he has his own cases that has not been resolved yet…and senators like De Lima and Trillianes believed a displaced person like Matobato, who was actually trying to hide his very own crime by seeking refuge on these senators and church people?

  3. Why do we have to watch senator’s trying to score cheap points by pretending they are judge and jury. Leave investigation to professionals not news grabbing amateurs who only succeed in contaminating the evidence.

  4. Yes Matobato is gone because Congress have majority of the congressmen and senators under Duterte. Nothing will ever happen to Matobato’s testimonies because everything will go garbage because of the allies of stupid duterte like Cayetano, Pacquiao and some who are all riding with fear under Duterte. The senators and congressmen cannot say anything against Duterte for fear that these lawmakers’ ill-gotten wealth through corruption will be disclosed. There is fear in the Philippines. I hope and pray that this situation in the Philippines under Duterte and China will end soon. Tiglao is trying his best to “pa-epal” to Duterte in his hopes to get a cabinet position.

  5. But, that’s what paid journalism is all about: print the bias. The only antidote to that is an educated population. And, other journalists or writers like Mr. Tiglao. Thanks Sir!

    • If you want to know what Mr. Yiglao thimks on Duterte, just read the articles he wrote before the elñections. Specially when he said: how come a mass killer become the president of the Philippines? Because he knows, and I know, and you knore too, that Matobato was telling the truth.

  6. Now that Matobato is out, expect a lot of charges to be filed against him by the family of Makdum. Will Trillanes continue to hide Matobato and risk being charged with harboring a criminal or turn him over to the police now that the conspiracy to oust Duterte didn’t work out as planned by the Yellow cult.

  7. I really don’t know and will not know and understand –what these local media (tv and newspaper) are up to. Are they for the good or bad, are they really for the majority of Filipinos or for selected (lucky) few. There will be time your “luck” if it is conceited and illegally acquired–will run out. It may not happen at this time, but it will happen nonetheless.

  8. Provide a a house rule for a senator who walks out during hearings or sessions: Prohibit the senator from walking back into the senate for a period of six months. Shameless senator, paid by the hard earned money of the Filipino people /////

  9. For me – even after reading this article – it is not clear what happend. Some think Motobato was lying so the chairman decides to just stop without the verification. Weak.Unjust.

    • OMG! there were so many confusing and contradicting statements from Matobato, and even does not conincide with the PNP and AFP records, and yet so hard for you to figure out who was lying and who’s not? Damn indeed stupidity is forever and no cure to idiocy.

    • No what more can Matobato do or say that they don’t know already? Do you want them to spend another day listening to his tall tales? It was a political gimmick – that has to be stopped. And the Senators was right in being angry – because they were used.

  10. You nailed it Sir! Once again, the yellow media were unmasked in this situation. They are living true to their sensationalism and ultra-biased reporting. Don’t worry because the Filipino people have awakened already and are more educated now than some 30 years ago. Thanks to internet and social media. The yellows can no longer thrive as much as when the time of Marcos. NEVER AGAIN to the YELLOWS!

  11. abel, there’s no proof that duterte has any acute mental disorder unlike your yellow president aquino

  12. ako’y tagamasid lng sa mga pangyayare..parang nakita ko na karamihan ng mga senador natin sumisipsip ky duterte at parang takot cla..may mga itlog daw pero puti naman…hehehe..itong c Lacson nakaranas daw ng panggigipit ng gobyerno noon..pero kung ihambing mo cla ni delima..c delima lumalaban dto pero c Lacson tumakbo..!! hehehe..Duwag c lacson..!!

  13. sa mga sinabi po ni matobato tungkol ke po3 lascanas,sa mga detalye ni sen de lima at pagpuna ni sen trillanes sa karumal dumal na pag patay sa davao,kala ko po maka kita ako ng taong tunay na kriminal ang asta,asal man lang o kaya manahimik para hindi mapahamak ang sarili,pero po yun asta ni po3 lascanas parang tatay k po,mahina boses pero dinig namin lahat magkakapatid lalo na pag me kasalanan ang isa sa amin, nakayuko lang kami kasi takot kami sa kanya dahil tatay namin sya,..yun asta ni sen trillanes parang siga,yun parang laging galing sa away,yun parang lasing,yun naninigaw na lang basta sa mga bata,yun parang adik ang asta na iwas ka nalang pag nasalubung mo sa daan,yun basta nerbyos ka pag narinig mo boses nya,yun pag alis nya sa lugar parang nabunutan ka ng tinik sa buhay, yun asta ni sen de lima po parang yun kapitbahay namin na laging talo sa sugal,wala masabi sa asawa kung bakit walang ulam sa mesa,basta pag nabuko mag walkout nalang,,

  14. para malaman kung totoo ang sinasabi ni matobato dapat balikan natin ang davao..marami bang patayan ang naganap sa davao noong mayor pa si duterte? may binabanggit na mga taong napatay ng DDS sa davao..tiningnan dn ba ang mga ito? Kung sa record ay meron..totoo ang sinasabi ni matobato..kung walang record e d sinungaling si matobato..pero tiningnan ba ito ng mga senador?!

    • Born and raised in davao po ako hindi dahil si mayor rody taga davao but based on my experience BEFORE DUTERTE came YES no mans land ang davao city patayan dito patayan doon. May sparrow unit pa but u know why we love him much? It’s because of him our beloved davao city becMe a LIVABLE city. Yes maraming laws na inimpliment nya and to be honest s umpisa galit mga davaoeño dahil mahigpit but in the long run we learned to accept it and understood it that what he did and done was for our own good. Thats why davaoeños love him much because brought peace and order in our city scalawags are gone we owe it to him now!

  15. I hope your next articles will be…
    “Gone de Lima Gone” and “Gone Trillanes Gone”
    Can’t wait for those articles to be published.

    • If you don’t allow criticism or differing opinions then you have lost democracy and your chance to be a member of a just society. You then may just do as the boss says. Be glad you are free to talk – but you must allow others their rights also. By expressing your opinion you are showing that you are a free individual. I think you would want to keep it that way. So be careful for what you wish for.

  16. Bobbi Tiglao Thank you! Bravo! Bravo! Mabuhay po kayo! Gling-gling ng sniping! Salamat sa ‘Colossal Deception’ talaga!

  17. There style of ruining peoples reputation thru the media and bark dogs in the senate have been very successful from marcos, to erap, arroyo, corona, angelo reyes, villar, binay and now duterte ..with the social media medyo mahihirapan cla w duterte, lets wait and see…

  18. Thank you, Mr. RDT for writing the real score at the Senate EJK hearing. Some thoughts:
    1) Times Sept 15 carried Matobato’s testimonies at the Senate on Sept 15?
    2) De Lima did not know Matobato had left? Could Trillanes act without consulting her? Isn’t de Lima too discourteous to her chair, Sen Gordon, for (a) not seeking permission for Matobato to be sent home for security reason and (b) pretending not to know (a congenital liar?)
    3) As de Lima read from her notes, matobato said, “nakasuhan ako . . . pero hindi ito umusad dahil . . . and we were able to fix the case.” Matobato lied, the case is still active, not “fixed.”
    4) On Oct 3rd hearing, Matobato could not categorically reply to Sen Cayetano’s oft repeated question if he was part of the DDS in contrast with the first hearings.
    5) Matobato said he killed Makdum in 2002, what gut he got! His court case is dated 2001. He killed a dead Makdum?
    6) The shooting of a guy under a vehicle by the 30 DDS was unimaginable.
    Personally, Matobato should be presented to the public to recant all his lies and if he may, the “history” for inventing “his stories.”

  19. You are absolutely correct. We have media that is dealing with gossip and no factual reporting.

  20. davao death squad is a myth. theres no such group. what we have in davao are legitimate police operations.

    • A seemingly defeated defense for Matobato and the unfounded existence of the mysterious killers in Davao before Du30 becomes a President could mean a continuous killing of those who would be accused of illegal drug peddling, users and innocent as well. The death squad or mysterious killers we may name of for the accused of the illegal drug could mean myth for others though, and illegitimate drug business though that is, we cannot devoid the accused person’s natural right to life to live, for respect and for his legal right to protection granted equal among others by the state itself due to his natural right to live, but we cannot deny the existence of facts of the fallen victims of an ongoing extrajudicial killing. To deny death squad or mysterious killers existence would supposedly mean an absence of the mysterious killing. however, by its mere existence, we can conclude the existence of the other, the culprit of the killing, the death squad or mysterious killer. Why no one from among mysterious killers or death squad, who supposedly could have been accused of murder, has been filed in the court? Why could they go around the place, City, and municipality without being caught? Who are they? Are they sanctioned by a person in authority? If the United Nation, United States, and the European Union do care for us, why should we not also do care for their concerns? In fact, we should be the first one who should be the most concern before others, right?

  21. Leaving by Matobato the Philippine’s senate hearing on the death squad investigation with presence of supposed comptriots police in anihilatiing illegal drug peddlers and users does not necessarily mean a defeat of Matobato and De Lima together with her supporters. De Lima with her allies in defense of Matobato and of civil rights to life are in the lopsided posittioning over the current allies of the current administration for the following reasons: Matobato is the sole ranger who came out recently to escape from his impending death, and nobody can support his statement than himself over his envolvement with death squad police who said they were not invloved; whereas in the current administration defensive side is an organized people with power and influence who could organize themselves to destroy Matabato, destroy De Lima and destroy Trillianes. The poor Matobato has nowhere to go to defend himself over an organized people with power and influence. I would always be skeptical when an organized body of people could stand in one tune to say that Matobato’s statements would be lacking of veracity. Matobato’s statement on the death squad, though might be filled with veracity and lone ranger he is to the mighty ones, unorganized though his statement due to his educational attainment, yet the truth on death squad and its exitence can never be set aside when we look at the darkside side of Davao’s unspeakable killings and to the entire Philippine today as well to both suspected of, accused and innocents on illegal drugs. Who is culprit and the main one, the main root of all killings?

    • Laotsu your typical reasoning is a semblance of a Yellow cult that up to now cannot accept their defeat in the last election and also up to now you want to destroy the person who annihilated your group in that election …. mind conditioning is the forte of this Yellow cult … and they have a perfect record of doing that …. this time around you will not be successful unles you yourself resort in assasinating DU30. That is your Plan B so that you can perpetuate yourself into POWER ….. why are you angry with Cayetano for exposing your criminal Plan ….. instead go to court and make a case against him instead of trial by publicity …. yes we know you control the media but social media …. NO WAY … now we can express ourselves what are the devils residing in that group. You and your minions are the one who self destruct …. we don’t believe you anymore … You have taken us for a ride last 2010 but now NO MORE….

    • Matobato is not the victim here. He victimized everyone who believed him. Including you, Laotsu. You fell into his web of lies. So, sorry! Like rappler, abs-cbn and the foreign media, you have been taken into a ride… Sakay na sakay! Front seat pa!

    • Im not sure if you are taking meds or you need to take meds…either way you got to do something man

  22. well, the philipines has exposed and damaged itself to the whole world and especially the western nations that seemingly approve the work of their independent government political leaders are still serving like a banana republic.country. the western media should have a better fair,balance and honest information about them rather then uncollaborated raw news.

  23. I am OFW, in Australia, for the past 39 years, a citizen now of this country but still love the Philippines. I’ve been following the news ever since Duterte, became the president. And noticed the news paper in this country published only the bad news against the president. Now that motobato is exposed of his lies, no news paper will publish saying. Dilima and Trillanes witness is EXPOSED. I congratulate you Mr. Tiglao for being so true to your job. Thank again

    • Because the case is not closed. The committee was tired, the chairman made some mistakes. They stopped while assuming that Motobato was not correct in some details. What a charade.

  24. This wanker Trillianes should be BACK IN JAIL AS SOON AS POSSIBLE, he started his careers as a destabilizer, pardoned by a mentally sick President, charged with Treason for his China escapades, degrading the Senate, planning another coup and now destabilizing the current gvernment, Masyadong nag-mamagaling pero bugok din. To you Mr. Trillianes – WTF do you think youre doing?

    • together with trillanes and delima.. both have to be jailed.. for treason or whatever it is called for deeds against the country..

    • It is obvious that you don’t understand the advantages of freedom of thought and freedom of opinion. Strange because you do want to have an opinion…

  25. After this melodrama by motabato, the days of reckoning will surely befall before him. He will certainly blame himself for allowing to be used by these two ambitious and corrupt senators.

  26. Delima puts herself in such a dilemma. Her meltdown drama and walking out antics has been becoming a regular part of her zarzuela ‘manifest’ as she calls it herself. Delima and Trillanes worked like a cohesive partners in a senate nationwide crime. All these highly educated senators are PUT TO SHAME by a first Grader.

    It is comedic and an absolute waste of public funds. Most Filipinos, specially some journalist are so uncooperative with this drug bust campaign that has been the major reason of most criminal and petty crimes in the country. I am glad you are one to take it out there that the media is not properly doing its job. I bet some of your journalist friends are not talking to you but you are probably a principled person.

    A few old time journalist, specially Ellen Tordesillas, a Malaya writer hated the newly elected president. Ellen’s writing is full of vitriol towards the president. One’s guess, relates it to the fact that Ellen Tordesillas is a good friend of Senator Trillanes.