DIGOS CITY - The Regional Trial Court Branch 19 has ordered the arrest of Edgar Matobato over a frustrated murder case filed by Abeto Salcedo Jr., a retired adjudicator of the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR).
"You are hereby commanded to arrest Edgar Matobato, who is said to be found at Sagrada Pamilia, Sasa, Davao City and who stands charged before me with the crime of Frustrated Murder and to bring him forthwith before me as soon as possible to be dealt with according to law," the Court said in the arrest warrant.
Salcedo identified Matobato as the one who shot him on Oct. 23, 2014, as he was stepping out of the DAR regional office in Digos.
The Court set Matobato's bail at P200,000.
In a phone interview, Atty. Josue Jude Sabio, legal counsel of Matobato, said the Court proceeded with the issuance of arrest warrant while he has pending motions subject for resolution.
"Alam ko na 'yan may instruction yan galing kay Pangulong Duterte through Secretary Aguirre. Gusto nila mag retaliate," Sabio said.
Matobato, a self-confessed hitman of the alleged Davao Death Squad, had accused Duterte of ordering the death of criminals in Davao City.
However, Sabio said he will present Matobato to court and prove his innocence. He also plans to file a motion to reduce bail.
Matobato is currently "under the custody" of Senator Antonio Trillanes IV, Sabio added.
Meanwhile, the Court has not found probable cause to order the arrest of lawyer Norberto Sinsona, Matobato's co-accused. But the local court asked the City Prosecution Office "to present additional evidence to show the existence of conspiracy" between the two accused within five days.
"Ang private offended party siya ang mag submit sa amin ng additional evidence at pag meron kaming makita, submit agad namin sa court," City Prosecutor Christopher Abarilla said.
Salcedo meanwhile refused to comment on Matobato's arrest.
"I cannot say anything about the issuance of the warrant of arrest now, because the person who hired Matobato to kill me is still free. I am praying that justice will be served," Salcedo said.