Gordon says Matobato 'had so many inconsistencies'


Posted at Sep 23 2016 12:12 PM | Updated as of Sep 23 2016 10:37 PM

MANILA - A professed hitman who linked President Rodrigo Duterte to vigilante killings had "so many inconsistencies" in his testimony when he faced a Senate investigation for the second time, the lawmaker leading the inquiry said Friday.

Edgar Matobato was placed under intense questioning on Thursday precisely to test his credibility, Senator Richard Gordon told ANC's "Headstart with Karen Davila."

Gordon took over the investigation from Sen. Leila de Lima, an outspoken critic of Duterte, who was removed as chairperson of the committee on justice and human rights over her alleged biased handling of the hearing.

"He says he was part of the squad—initially, he was not talking about it. He had so many inconsistencies," Gordon said.

Gordon said Matobato presented a mere "travelogue of murders," adding, "You have to test his credibility, you have to test his memory, you have to test events. And he was changing stories."

Senators on Thursday grilled Matobato over his changing statements when detailing the killings of Pakistani national Sali Makdum and a certain National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) agent Amisola.

At least week's hearing headed by De Lima, Matobato claimed it was Duterte who killed Amisola.

Gordon said Matobato's testimony could be used to support Senator Antonio Trillanes' resolution that seeks to include the so-called Davao Death Squad in the committee's investigation. 

Gordon said Matobato was not immune from suit over what he said in the Senate hearings.

"You go there at your own peril. When you say something against somebody, you have to be accountable for that. You cannot just bask in the righteousness, so to speak, because if you live in a glass house, you’ll be pilloried. In his case, everybody had the right to cross-examine him for credibility," he said.