Self-confessed hitman brought to Camp Crame after court orders arrest
Edgar Matobato, the self-confessed assassin who linked President Rodrigo Duterte to over a 1,000 murders in Davao City, is in police custody after a court in Davao city issued an arrest warrant against him in connection with an illegal possession of firearms case in 2014.
Senator Antonio Trillanes IV turned over Matobato to Philippine National Police chief Ronald Dela Rosa in Camp Crame. Trillanes and Matobato arrived past 9 am from the Senate in Pasay City.
Davao City Municipal Trial Court Branch 3 Judge Silverio Mandalupe sought Matobato's arrest after he did not appear in his arraignment on Tuesday for a case of illegal possession of firearms and ammunition.
Matobato has been under Trillanes' protective custody in Metro Manila since he is a resource person in Senate hearing on extrajudicial killings. He admitted to being a member of the Davao Death Squad, a hit squad which Duterte allegedly formed against
criminals during his stint as city mayor of Davao.
Matobato underwent booking procedures which included taking fingerprints and mugshots. He was then brought to the PNP Custodial Center where he will remain over the weekend.
"We thank General Dela Rosa for the assurance they will take care of Matobato safety and security," Trillanes said in a news briefing.
Dela Rosa, in the same press conference, said they will protect Matobato, joking they would give him Kevlar helmets or bullet proof vests and masks if his presence is needed at the court in Davao City.
"We will put armor on his whole body. Even the vehicle where he is will be bombed, he is still safe," said Dela Rosa.
He thanked Trillanes for the trust in turning over Matobato to their custody.
Trillanes is opposing Matobato’s transport to Davao City,explaining the latter's life is danger after he implicated several people in the death squad.
Dela Rosa does not believe Matobato's life is not at risk in Davao City. "That is my place. I have control over there. I can say that he will be safe there."
Matobato, in an interview aired over television before he was brought to Camp Crame, said he is leaving his fate to God.
"I am ready. I already gave my life to God. Whatever happens to me, I can no longer do anything about it," he said.
He is also not afraid of his safety in Camp Crame even if he has implicated Dela Rosa in some killings in Davao City.
Dela Rosa said he is not angry at Matobato. "I understand his situation. I'm not holding any grudge against him. I'm even happy to have seem someone from Davao," said De La Rosa. Emmanuel Tupas/DMS