Residents of Barangay Tagbaobo in Kaputian, Samal Island on Tuesday gave contrasting experiences with confessed Davao Death Squad gunman Edgar Matobato.
According to a report on GMA 7 news program “24 Oras”, Matobato stayed in the barangay from the early 90s until early 2000s.
GMA News visited Matobato’s former residence, but his ex-wife no longer lived there, while his in-laws declined to comment.
Based on barangay records, Matobato was rarely involved in any incidents, though he was known to often carry a battle rifle.
“May dala-dala siyang baril. May baril siya na M14 pero wala namang ginagawang masama,” barangay kagawad Mario Samedra said.
Matobato’s former neighbor, Annabelle Cole, said he often referred to himself as a buddy of then Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte.
“Ang pinalalabas niya CAFGU siya. Body-body daw siya ni Mayor [Duterte]. Tapos nag-research kami, kung totoong body-body siya ni mayor bakit palagi siyang nandito? Cole said.
“Kung malasing siya nagpapaputok minsan,” she added.
Meanwhile, another neighbor pointed to the residence of Sali Makdum, known as Eric to the locals, after hearing Makdum’s name during the Senate hearings.
His neighbors said Makdum was a Saudi national who sold antiques and jewelry.
Melchor Marquez, in-law of Makdum, said the Saudi was kidnapped in November 2000, but had been no progress on the case.
“Pumunta kami ng NBI pero hindi naaksyunan kasi wala kaming witness kasi natatakot,” he said.
As to whether Makdum was a terrorist, Marquez replied, “Hindi ako naniniwala.”
During the Senate hearings on the alleged extrajudicial killings, Matobato said he kidnapped Makdum in 2002.
Matobato added he even brought Makdum to the Davao City office of the now-defunct PAOC-TF, where now PNP Director General Ronald Dela Rosa allegedly met them, before he dumped Makdum’s corpse in a quarry site.
Dela Rosa later denied meeting nor having personal ties with Matobato.
Meanwhile, GMA News went to Ehkran Berhan, the resort where Matobato said he allegedly dumped other victims.
Ehkran Berhan caretakers said the resort has been closed for almost two decades and no corpse had ever been found in the area. — Joseph Tristan Roxas/DVM, GMA News