Truth cannot be killed

Edgar Matobato swears to tell the truth nothing but the truth at the Senate hearing. Sept. 15, 2016.

If the allies of President Duterte in the Senate think that the public will never know the truth in the testimony of Edgar Matobato, self-confessed member of the Davao Death Squad, now that Sen. Leila de Lima has been ousted as chair of the committee on justice and human rights, they should be reminded that truth always finds its way to come out.

Not now, maybe. Sometimes, it takes a more circuitous route, but it will come out.

One of the stories Matobato narrated in his testimony last week was the alleged order of then Davao City mayor and now President Rodrigo Duterte to kill the bodyguards of former House Speaker Prospero Nograles who ran against Duterte’s daughter, Sara, for mayor in the 2010 elections.

In that election, Duterte ran as Sara’s vice mayor. Both daughter and father won.

After last Thursday’s hearing, Nograles immediately sent out a message to media denying Matobato’s story. “As far as I know, there’s not a single incident that any of my staff or security personnel who were assigned to me while I was still in politics was killed even when I ran for mayor in 2010,” Nograles said.

Nograles added that all his bodyguards are still alive: “Buhay pa naman sila hanggang ngayon.”

The former speaker’s son, Davao City Rep. Karlo Alexei Nograles, not only denied Matobato’s story, he also expressed suspicion that, “…this guy is being manipulated by some people to only serve their own selfish interests.”

The Nograles father and son denials should render Matobato’s confession of 2010 murders a total lie?

There’s a Facebook post under the account “Walang Sisihan” which said there were four persons who were killed in the manner that fitted the grisly narration of Matobato. They were not Nograles’ bodyguards. They were volunteers for his election campaign.

Walang Sisihan’s Sept. 15 post said in the 2010 elections campaign, Nograles sought the help of the notorious Jovito Palparan, Jr. , who was former Bantay Partylist Representative ; ANAD Partylist Representative Jun Alcover, and retired CSupt Eduardo Martillano, , former PNP director in the Davao Region– all staunched anti-communism advocates, in countering the harassments of the NPA in the hinterlands of Davao City that favored Duterte’s Hugpong sa Tawong Lungsod.

The FB post said, “In his voluntary testimony before the Senate Committee on Justice and Human Rights investigating the extra-judicial killings in the country last Thursday, Matobato who claimed to be a former CAFGU personnel and at same time a 15-30 city hall employee from 1988 to 2013 alleged that Mayor Duterte ordered the abduction and killing of four (Nograles men) at the height of the 2010 national and local election campaign.

“It was quite weird,” Walang Sisihan’s post said, “that four dead bodies were found on Good Friday, April 2, 2010 in different locations in Davao City, Davao del Norte and Davao del Sur provinces.”

The FB Post further said,“A spear fisherman discovered by accident the mutilated body of Ka Onad tied with a heavy-duty hydraulic jack to prevent it from floating at the bottom of the shallow waters in Davao Gulf not far from a beach resort at Sitio Baybay, Brgy. Panggubatan, Kaputian District in the Island Garden City of Samal across Davao City reportedly owned by a certain Sonny Buenaventura, said to be a ‘DDS handler’ that was mentioned by Mr. Matobato in his voluntary testimony today.”

Walang Sisihan said Ka Onad is Ronald “Miranda — an anti-communism organizer and campaigner of Bantay Partylist Group.

Walang Sisihan also said at the same time, that Miranda’s body was found, the decomposing body of f ormer Kagawad Juliana “Nanay Juling” Noquera of Barangay Dominga in Calinan District, a leader of the Nograles Team, was believed to have been washed ashore and found half buried in the coastline of Sitio Mamacao, Brgy. Kisulad, Sta. Maria town, Davao del Sur.

Ka Onad and Nanay Juling were seen meeting over lunch a little over a week earlier, March 24,in a small eatery in Bgy Calinan “discussing on how Bantay Partylist and Nograles Team could collaborate and help each other in Brgy. Dominga,” the post said.

Walang Sisihan also said the two other bodies found on April 2, 2010 were that of a younger missing campaign volunteer at a cottage inside Bonguyan Beach Resort in Times Beach, Matina-Aplaya in the city and that of the body of the older missing man discovered at Matigol River in Sitio Ladian, Barangay Marilog. Around 60 years old, the victim was believed to have been drowned.”

The two were Nograles campaign volunteers under Martillano, the FB Post said.

Why then did the Nograles father and son deny Matobato’s story?

Walang Sisihan said, “The attempt of Boy Nograles and his son, Representative Karlo Nograles of the First Congressional District of Davao City, to hide this fact from the public is understandable and predictable as it is consistent with their known character both as persons and true-blooded traditional politicians. It would be no small wonder if the Nograleses deny now that they employed both the slain broadcasters Juan “Jun” Pala, Jr. and Ferdie “Batman” Lintuan against Duterte before their DDS-style assassination in 2003 and 2007, respectively.”

I don’t know who runs the Walang Sisihan account but his post is supported by links to news reports of the incidents cited. Check it out.

This is what I mean about truth can’t be killed. It will find a way to come out.

FOR FURTHER READING

Matobato and the firefly

The priest cites the Alitaptap incident to underscore how God works in mysterious and heart-warming…

Malacañang shaken by Lascañas exposé

However Malacanang tries to discredit SPO3 Arturo Lascañas explosive exposé about President…

Lascañas says Duterte paid him using Davao City’s 'ghost' employees

In the business of death, self-confessed hitman Arturo Lascañas had reaped a ghastly reward: He…

About Vera Files

Founded in March 2008, VERA Files is published by veteran Filipino journalists taking a deeper look into current Philippine issues. Vera is Latin for “true.”

Contact Us

Email us at [email protected]