MANILA – Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano has urged the committee investigating the alleged extrajudicial killings (EJKs) in the Philippines to terminate its hearings.
This was after Cayetano, vice presidential running mate of then mayor and now President Rodrigo Duterte in the last election, questioned the credibility of self-confessed assassin and witness Edgar Matobato.
The senator said Filipinos were “taken for a ride” with regard to Duterte’s involvement in the so-called vigilante killings.
“I don’t want the international community to think that this is the kind of country we are running,” he added.
Cayetano criticized Sen. Leila de Lima, who previously chaired the Committee on Justice and Human Rights, for concealing information on the kidnapping for ransom case against Matobato.
During Monday’s proceeding, it was learned that a case of kidnapping for ransom was filed at the National Bureau of Investigation by the wife of SaliMakdum, a suspected international terrorist.
“Mr.Matobato was allowed here without vetting him and without disclosing that case. The international media put on their front page and put on their shows that the Philippine President is a mass murdered and that he fed his enemies to the crocodiles,” Cayetano said.
For her part, de Lima denied claims she concealed material information, saying that Matobato already admitted that a kidnap for ransom case was filed against him during his first appearance before the justice panel on Sept. 15.
De Lim, who demanded an apology for the “false” and “unfair” accusations, said that last Sept. 22 the former Davao Death Squad member also repeated his statement that Makdum’s wife filed a case against him.
“It is clear that Mr.Matobato was very forthcoming with the said case filed against him. There is no iota of concealment that can be attributed to me and Mr.Matobato. I cannot be faulted if the Senators present gave more importance to that information even though they already heard it during the previous hearings,” she added./PN