"Tuwang tuwa ako, hindi ko alam ang gagawin ko. Masaya din ako, umiyak din ako. Basta parang masayang masaya din ako."
This was how Edgar Matobato, self-confessed hitman of the alleged Davao Death Squad (DDS), reacted when he saw the confession of retired SPO3 Arthur Lascañas claiming that DDS exists and President Rodrigo Duterte had ordered the killing of certain personalities, a report on Unang Balita on Wednesday said.
Matobato was happy upon knowing that Lascañas made a reversal on his statement, adding that the latter's confession gave weight to his earlier claims, GMA News' Raffy Tima reported.
Lascañas on Monday had made a complete turnaround from his earlier testimony in a Senate inquiry. He claimed that they were paid by Duterte up to P100,000 for every target they killed when he was still a mayor of Davao City.
“Totoo po ang existence ng Davao Death Squad o DDS. Siya ay miyembro namin at isa ako sa pasimuno dito,” Lascañas said, referring to Edgar Matobato, who earlier testified on the DDS before a Senate inquiry.
“Ito ay binabayaran kami ni Mayor Duterte, kadalasan P20,000 or P50,000 at depende sa status ng target, minsan P100,000. Ako ay tumanggap ng allowance sa Office of the Mayor, P100,000,” Lascañas said.
In October last year, Lascañas denied the existence of DDS during the interpellation by Senator Leila de Lima saying, "Wala pong DDS, media hype lang 'yan."
Matobato, on his part, did not expect that one of Duterte's trusted aides and his right-hand man would confess to being a member of the DDS.
"Siya ang pinaka-righthand ni Duterte. Para silang magkapatid ni Duterte. Lahat ng anong utos ni Duterte, siya talaga ang gumagawa," Matobato said.
Matobato said he was disappointed over Lascañas whom he considered as a friend, since the
latter was the one who arrested him in 2014. However, he said that it is all in the past, now that Lascañas had already confessed.
Matobato further said that he had known Duterte for about 20 years and Lascañas knows Duterte more than any other senators. He added that Lascañas has a lot to say about the killings ordered by Duterte when he was still a mayor of Davao City.
"Bakit kami magsisinungaling? Kami ang magkasama nila Duterte doon sa Davao City. Ngayon, ngayon lang sila (senators) nagkakilala ngayong Presidente na si Duterte," Matobato said.
Lascañas also admitted his involvement in the murder of a family, in the killing of journalist Jun Pala, in mosque bombings, and even the killings of his two brothers.
Matobato, on the other hand, said that Duterte ordered the mosque bombings, saying, "Walang namatay, umutos naman siya na yung mga suspect patayin niyo. Yung mga Muslim. Pinagdudukot lang namin sila."
Attorney Alexander Padilla of the Free Legal Assistance Group on Tuesday said Lascañas is ready to face repercussions following his confession.
"Nabanggit rin namin sa kanya na kung anong pwede mangyari dito, kung anong pwedeng mangyari sa kanya. Hindi lamang 'yung kanyang safety, pero pwede rin siyang kasuhan including murder, perjury," Padilla said.
"Ito ay handa siya, pero I think sa kanyang kaisipan, malinis ang konsensiya niya at ito ang kanyang kagustuhan," Padilla added. —GMA News