MANILA – The International Criminal Court case against President Rodrigo Duterte will go nowhere if it were based solely on the testimony of self-confessed DDS assassin Edgar Matobato, a lawmaker said April 25.
Senator Panfilo Lacson said that the case is “dustbin bound” in a www.inquirer.net report.
“Based on my own personal assessment as the presiding chairman of the Senate investigation that heard Matobato’s testimony, if he is Atty. Sabio’s main witness against PRRD et al, or worse, the only witness, being a polluted source and a perjured witness at that, I am almost certain that the complaint is as good as without merit,” said Lacson in the report.
Lacson chairs the Senate Committee on public order and dangerous drugs which made investigations on the claims of Matobato that the President organized and led the so-called Duterte Death Squad when he was still the mayor of Davao City as well as extrajudicial killings in the country.
The committee came up with its findings that there was no proof to the claims that extrajudicial killings were state-sponsored.
“Therefore, it’s dustbin bound,” the senator said.
Eleven others were included in the case filed at the ICC.
He added that in order for the case to merit ICC attention two other criteria need to be satisfied which would be a “tall order”.
The first being “that the national courts, meaning our RTC’s and even the Supreme Court are unwilling or unable to prosecute those being charged.” And the second is “when the UN Security Council or individual states refer the case/s to the ICC,” he said.
“In order to determine if the ICC will give due course to the complaint filed by Atty. Sabio, let us ask ourselves if these requirements or conditions are met, then we can draw our conclusion from there.”
“I would like to believe that it is going to be a tall order, even a disappointment for people who wish that the ICC take jurisdiction over PRRD and other individuals charged in this instant case,” the senator added.
“Embarrassing our President before world leaders who will be converging in our country for an international summit like the Asean is one of the most unpatriotic acts and the worst disservice that one can do to his country,” he said in reference to the timing of the filing of the complaint when the ASEAN summit is just around the corner.
“If only in that regard, unless there is clear evidence to prove Malacañang’s assertion, I would rather give Atty. Sabio the benefit of the doubt as to his motive in filing the case at a time when the Asean summit will be hosted by the country this year,” he added in the report.
By: Sam Bautista