BREAKING: Pimentel rejects request for Matobato’s protective custody

Pimentel rejects request for Matobato’s protective custody

THE request to place a witness and self-confessed hitman, Edgar Matobato, under the custody of the Senate was rejected by Senate President Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III on Thursday.

This as disclosed by Senator Antonio Trillanes IV hours after he made a motion during last Thursday’s hearing of the Senate committees on justice and human rights, and public order to provide protective custody for Matobato, who served as witness and claimed to be a former member of the alleged “Davao Death Squad.”

Senator Leila de Lima, chair of the senate hearing presented Matobato as the witness during this Thursday’s hearing. “Senator Pimentel’s office has just informed us that he has denied the committee’s request for Senate custody of Mr. Edgar Matobato,” he said in a report.

However, Trillanes promised to protect the witness.

“Hindi namin sya pababayaan,” Trillanes promised.

In Matobato’s testimony, he tagged President Rodrigo Duterte behind the killings of several people in Davao City when he was still the mayor in the city.

Meanwhile, Senator De Lima is now bringing the request back to the committee on justice and human rights, which she chairs.

“I am perplexed, disturbed, and extremely disappointed with the Senate President’s refusal to grant protective custody to Edgar Matobato,” she said in a statement on Friday.

While she agreed with Pimentel’s opinion that the grant of protective custody to witnesses may not be in the Senate rules, De Lima pointed out that this was a “long-standing practice, probably in any legislative body in the world, because it is an ancillary and inherent power of the legislature to support its mandate of conducting inquiries in aid of legislation.”

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