57-year-old Edgar Matobato appeared twice before partisan senators who grilled him and tried to assert that his shocking revelations about the infamous Davao Death Squad (DDS) and President Rodrigo Duterte were too incredible to be true.
Practically illiterate after completing only Grade 1 many decades ago, he was made to look stupid and inconsistent in his narration of what he knew. The son of a forest ranger who planted coffee and corn to support his family, the short, stocky Edgar with streaks of silver hair showed little traces of a man who had witnessed and even participated in the killing of hundreds of people – many of them criminals who were a menace to Davao.
They were drug pushers, snatchers, hold-uppers, land-grabbers, and they all deserved to die, he thought. Edgar took pride in his job.
He says his was among the names listed under Davao city hall’s civil security unit (CSU), which watched over markets, schools, and terminals to keep them safe – even if his job was nowhere near that.