Testifying at the Senate committee on public order and dangerous drugs on Monday, retired SPO3 Arturo Lascañas confirmed Edgar Matobato’s earlier testimony at the Senate that they abducted and buried the dance instructor.
Lascañas and Matobato both claimed to be part of the so-called Davao Death Squad.
“Ito pong isang insidente na sinabi ni Edgar na ina-bduct na isang dance instructor, ito po ay totoo. Kasama po ako noon (The incident stated by Edgar about the abduction of a dance instructor is true. I was there),” Lascañas said.
“Hindi ko sure kung dance instructor talaga. Pero ang instruction ni SPO4 Sonny Buenaventura, niloko nito ang kapatid ni Mayor na si Jocelyn (I’m not sure if he was indeed a dance instructor. But SPO4 Sonny Buenaventura said that he fooled the mayor’s sister Jocelyn),” he said, referring to then Davao City Mayor Duterte.
“Gumawa kami ng operations, na-abduct namin yung tao, isa si Edgar doon kasama. Dinala sa quarry ni Bien Laud at dito nilibing yung subject person. Hindi ko lang kilala kung sino pero ito patunayan ko lang na ang mga sinasabi ni Edgar dito sa Senado is para sa akin 90 percent ay tama,” the retired police officer added.
(We conducted operations, we abducted the person, Edgar was there. He was brought to the quarry of Bien Laud and the subject person was buried there. I don’t know him but I’m confirming the statements of Edgar at the Senate, for me, is 90% accurate)
But Lacson, chairman of the committee, later asked Lascañas whether he would change his testimony if it turns out that the dance instructor is alive.
“Patay po yun (He’s dead),” Lascañas said.
“Hindi, pinapakunan ko ng affidavit ngayon e at baka maimbitahan ko next hearing kaya may pagkakataon ka pang baguhin yung testimony mo ulit dahil pag dumating dito nakaharap mo at buhay, mapapahiya ka (No, I’m asking for his affidavit now and I might invite him to the next hearing so you still have the chance to change your testimony again because if he comes here and confronts you alive, you will be embarrassed)…” the senator said.
“E kung makaharap mo’t buhay, anong gagawin mo? Papatayin mo (What if he confronts you alive, what would you do? Would you kill him)?” Lacson asked. “Anong gagawin mo pag nakaharap mo next hearing, andyan buhay e nagtestify kang patay? Babaguhin mo ang statement mo (What would you do if he confronts you alive in the nest hearing while you tested he’s dead? Will you change your statement)?”
If that happens, then Lascañas said the person who would be presented to the committee would not be the person they killed.
After the hearing, Lacson told reporters that there was information that the dance instructor was very well alive.
“Mayroong tumawag at sinasabing andyan ang dance instructor, buhay na buhay (Someone called and said that the dance instructor is alive),” said the senator, adding that he already asked for a statement and video of the dance instructor.