Witness Edgar Matobato left the Senate grounds Thursday evening after Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III rejected the request of Senator Leila de Lima to place him under the protection and custody of the Senate.
Matobato stayed at the quarters of the Office of Sergeant-at-arms after the third Senate hearing on extrajudicial killings being linked to President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs was suspended until Tuesday next week.
He was seen boarding a car past 7:30 p.m. Senator Antonio Trillanes IV, who made the motion for the witness to be placed under Senate protection and custody, saw Matabato off.
Trillanes told reporters that he was disappointed after Pimentel rejected the committee’s request.
“Senator Pimentel’s office has just informed us that he has denied the committee’s request for Senate custody of Mr. Edgar Matobato,” Trillanes said.
Trillanes said although he does not know what will happen next, he said that they will protect Matobato.
“I dont know but I’m disappointed. Anyway hindi namin siya pababayaan,” he said.
Pimentel has yet to comment as of posting time. He received De Lima’s formal request around 6 p.m.
Matobato, a confessed member of the Davao Death Squad, attended the third Senate probe on the alleged extrajudicial killings.
Some of the highlights of Matobato’s testimony include the alleged involvement of President Rodrigo Duterte in the bombings of mosques in Davao City and his son Paolo’s alleged participation in several killings, including that of businessman Richard King.