Military: No Matobato, Makdum in our records

Chiara Zambrano, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 16 2016 06:20 PM

Witness Edgar Matobato testifies during the joint Senate hearing on extra-judicial killings called by the Committee on Justice and Human Rights with Public Order and Dangerous Drugs held at the Senate in Pasay City on 15 September 2016. Joseph Vidal, PRIB/NPPA Images

MANILA - The Armed Forces of the Philippines said that alleged Davao Death Squad member Edgar Matobato, who claims to be a former militiaman, is not in its list of personnel.

Matobato's name should appear on the military's roster if he was enlisted at some point in his life, said Colonel Edgard Arevalo, AFP Public Affairs Chief.

“Based on the records of the Philippine Army, there is no Edgar Matobato, whether as a regular Army personnel, or a member of the CAFGU (Citizen Armed Force Geographical Unit)," Arevalo said. 

However, since Matobato claimed that he was part of the military decades ago, it is possible that his name is in older records, said Army spokesman Colonel Benjamin Hao.

Arevalo said Matobato should be specific on the dates he was enlisted and discharged.

Upon checking, Arevalo also said that the name "Sali Makdum," whom Matobato named as a foreign terrorist that they killed, was nowhere to be found in their intelligence records.

Matobato claimed he was recruited to a group of hired guns called the "Lambada Boys" in 1988. He claimed Duterte ordered the killings of, among others, four bodyguards of a rival politician, a hard-hitting radio broadcaster, and the dance instructor of the then mayor's sister.

READ: What a self-confessed DDS hitman told the Senate

Matobato said New People’s Army (NPA) rebel returnees who were close to Duterte were also brought into the group. He estimates that there are currently about 300 rebel returnees in the death squad.

Arevalo said that claim has yet to be proven.