In the senate hearing against extrajudicial killings, a witness was brought forth that everyone presumed is lying. Edgar Matobato claims that he is a former member of the DDS or Davao Death Squad, which he was unable to prove. This is due to his changing statements that seem to be lies.
Such is the case when he claimed that he was from the CAFGU (Civilian Armed Forces Geographical Unit) last hearing and then changed his statement this hearing, saying that he is in fact from CHDF (Civilian Home Defense Unit)
Senator Dick Gordon asked him again:
“Sinabe mo ba last hearing na CAFGU ka?”
To which he answered:
“Sinabe ko, Sir.”
Gordon continued the questioning by asking,
“Ngayon binabago mo na CHDF ka?”
Matobato answered “Dumaan talaga ko sa CHDF, Sir” But before he can finish, Gordon said:
“Yes or No?”
After this, Gordon went on by saying that he got the records from CAFGU, and the name of Matobato is not in any of their records. So, while confirming that Matobato in fact said yes, that he was a part of CHDF, Gordon asked any representative who can give him the records of CHDF to prove Matobato’s claim.
This was when Senator De Lima was seen raising her hand. On Gordon’s go ahead, she approached the podium and said a bit of manifestation, according to her:
“Inamin naman po niya talaga na sinabe niya dati, yung the last hearing na CAFGU. Now, bakit niya namemention na CHDF, that’s what he was trying to explain po. Let’s consider yung mga year na sinasabe, kanina narinig naman po siguro natin. Nung 1982 CHDF pero he’s being cut short when he is trying to explain bakit naging CAFGU.
“We have to remember po, again, just to make a point, yung point ko po kanina na this is not a court of law. Remember po na in cross-examination in court, the lawyer of the witness can always object, but in the proceedings before the senate, the lawyer is not allowed to object but simply to advice. And therefore, nangyayare na meron mga misleading questions na hindi naman kayang.. na you know, the council will not be able to come to his rescue kung meron ganun na mga questionable questions. Because nga bawal ang lawyer na mag-object on behalf of the witness.”
“So, sana po, again, I go back to my appeal earlier. Iwasan po natin yung mga misleading, na kapag naman po siguro meron siyang ineexplain, hayaan naman po siya para makaexplain. Thank you so much.”
After this long tirade, she stormed back to her seat. But if she thought she got the better of them, no, Gordon had the perfect response for her. He even started it by saying the he respects her as a lady and went on with his point.
“He has a lawyer. We all know, the whole country is witness to the fact na hindi natin itinuloy ang imbestigasyon hanggang humanap tayo ng abogado. Para iadvice siya, parang kung may isasagot siya, makakabulong. Hindi nga court of law ito, pero kaya nga may abogado tayong ibinibigay para pag tinatanong sakanya na makakapahamak sayo, may abogado tayong magsasabe na ‘wag mo nang sagutin yan, pag sinagot mo yan delikado tayo dyan.’ Hindi nga makakapagsalita ang abogado pero makakapagadvice siya.”
Let’s get back to why De Lima made the notion. She was mad because she said that they should look at the years, she said that Matobato is being cut short before he can explain why his statement last hearing was that he is from CAFGU and now he is saying that he is from CHDF.
Her point is for Gordon to let Matobato finish his explanation so he can prove that he was indeed a part of CAFGU. Because according to her, Gordon was cutting him short and making him confirm what he is saying now that he is from CHDF by giving misleading questions.
Let’s take it further back. Even before De Lima raised her hand. You can note that Gordon said that he got the records from CAFGU and no such Matobato ever existed there.
So what was De Lima’s point? Is she just stating this to vent her anger on Gordon? What is Gordon cutting short when the records already showed that he was not CAFGU. De Lima wants to let him finish explaining how he became CAFGU when he was not in the records in the first place.
Watch the video below:

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