Edgar Matobato, a self-confessed member of the notorious Davao Death Squad and the principal witness against President Rodrigo Duterte in the legislative inquiry on extrajudicial killings, formally surrendered to Ronald ‘Bato’ Dela Rosa, Director General of the Philippine National Police, on Friday, October 7, 2016.
Matobato is best known for hurling brutal charges against President Duterte, alleging that the president was the one who formed the infamous Davao Death Squad way back in 1988. He also accused the president of masterminding several extrajudicial killings and summary executions in Davao.
He is facing charges for illegal possession of firearms on June 2014. He was charged for carrying a .45 caliber handgun without a permit.
After failing to be present on his scheduled arraignment on Tuesday, a Davao City court issued a warrant for his arrest.
Senator Antonio Trillanes, who accompanied the hitman in his surrender to the PNP, said that Matobato had no intention to skip his arraignment hearing in Davao City. However, the arraignment was scheduled on the same day as the legislative inquiry on extrajudicial killings in the Senate where Matobato was a witness, hence, he was not able to attend his hearing.
The senator also shared that they are exploring all the legal options for the self-confessed hitman, so that he can post bail after his voluntary surrender to the authorities.
He also said that if they run out of legal options, then their best course of action would be to ensure that Matobato would be safe and secure.
Senator Trillanes also revealed that if Matobato would be allowed to post bail, he would continue to provide protective custody for the witness.
The surrender intends to show that the self-confessed hitman is not shying away from the charges that are being filed against him.
Senator Trillanes also admitted that there is a little anxiety in leaving Matobato in police custody, but that it was a good thing that the PNP made assurances that Matobato will not be harmed.