Exploring the links between De Lima and Matobato

Exploring the links between De Lima and Matobato

An unholy alliance

- in Opinion

With all the charges being hurled against Leila de Lima, from coddling drug lords to funding her senatorial campaign using drug money, is it far-fetched to suppose that she also has a hand at the killings now being blamed against President Rodrigo Duterte?

Leila de Lima has been investigating Duterte and his alleged links to the Davao Death Squad (DDS), a shadowy group that is said to be responsible to the killing of criminals in Davao City. She has been at this for almost a decade – first as head of the Commission on Hunan Rights (CHR), then as Secretary of Justice for six years. In all that time, she has not been able to present any witness that links Duterte to the killings.

Then all of a sudden, without any explanation as to where he came from, De Lima and Sonny Trillanes pulls out Edgar Matobato, an alleged hitman for the DDS that has intimate knowledge about the group’s activities going back three decades. While his testimony has been largely proven to be false (see story here and here), Matobato’s involvement with De Lima presents some curious possibilities,

As it turns out, Matobato was already under De Lima’s custody prior to his surprise appearance in the senate. This was in 2014 when he entered the Witness Protection Program (WPP), after first being rejected by the CHR. What is significant about this is that Matobato has been identified by a witness as the man who tried to assassinate him that same year. While he was supposed to be under the WPP.

With this revelation, questions arise about the extent of De Lima’s connections with Matobato. And were these connections used in order to create the perception that it is the President who is behind the unexplained killings. This is especially relevant with Matobato’s testimony regarding the use of packing tape, a practice that has become popular now, but was never used in the so-called Davao Death Squad executions.

Is it possible that De Lima used her connections with Matobato, a confessed assasin, to kill people in order to pin them on the President? Is it possible that there are politicians who are taking advantage of Duterte’s war against crime to camouflage their cleaning-up operations?

This and many more questions await Leila de Lima as more and more people become aware of what she did while heading the Department of Justice. And while she is quick to point to Duterte as the author of all her misery, in truth she only has to look in the mirror to see the source of her downfall.

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