• Senator Richard Gordon said that Edgar Matobato is not immune from suit
  • Gordon said that President Rodrigo Duterte himself could file charges against Matobato if he wants to
  • Gordon said that Matobato is “accountable” for the statements he made in the ongoing Senate inquiry on drug-related killings

MANILA, Philippines – The new chairman of Senate Committee on Justice and Human Rights said on Friday that Edgar Matobato, the self-confessed hitman and allegedly a member of the so-called Davao Death Squad (DDS), is not immune from suit.

Senator Richard Gordon said that President Rodrigo Duterte himself could file charges against Matobato if he so wishes.

In an interview in “Headstart with Karen Davila”, Gordon said that Matobato  is “accountable” for the statements he made in the ongoing Senate inquiry on drug-related killings.

“I told him, kapag may sasabihin ka, puwedeng gamitin sa husgado ‘yan kaya mag-ingat ka. Magsabi ka ng totoo. He’s not immune,” Gordon sad as quoted in an article by ABS-CBN News.

[“I told him, if you will say something, those can be used against you in a court so you should be careful. Tell the truth. He’s not immune.”]

Gordon, the new chairman of the Senate Committee on Justice and Human Rights conducting the investigation on the spate of extra-judicial killing, replaced Senator Leila de Lima who was ousted by her colleagues from the post.

Matobato was presented as a witness by De Lima last week while she was still the committee chairman.

An article by Kathrina Charmaine Alvarez for GMA News said that Gordon confirmed that Duterte can sue Matobato over his accusations.

“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,” Gordon said.

The senator added that he noticed several inconsistencies in Matobato’s statements during the resumption of the Senate inquiry last Thursday.

“The way I look at him, here’s a guy who wanted recognition or a little bit of vengeance…But whether he did all the killings, even he was inconsistent,” Gordon said.

Gordon said they intend to wrap-up the Senate inquiry on drug-related killings in three to four hearings, and the next hearing is scheduled on September 28.

On Thursday’s senate hearing, Matobato said he joined the DDS to seek justice for his father who was beheaded in front of him by suspected communist rebels.