Matobato lawyer to withdraw ICC case vs Duterte
MANILA, Philippines — Lawyer Jude Sabio has announced that he is withdrawing his complaint against President Rodrigo Duterte before the International Criminal Court (ICC).
In 2017, Sabio submitted a communication (complaint) to ICC alleging Duterte committed crimes against humanity.
Sabio, a lawyer for a self-confessed member of the Davao Death Squad (DDS), Edgar Matobato, said that like in the case of his client, “the same thing could happen” to the ICC complaint.
“I would be given a pittance when they needed me for the political propaganda and then later, I would be told that there was no more budget due to financial constraints,” Sabio said in his affidavit adding that “it was a pattern that was all too obvious to me.”
“In light of all these and under the circumstances obtaining, I am left with no choice but to formally withdraw from your office the communication that I filed way back 24 April 2017.”
“I fervently request that it be expunged or erased from the record and that it should not be used in any way in the ongoing preliminary investigation,” he added.
The Philippines already withdrew from ICC two years ago. However, ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda had said the international court would continue to look into extrajudicial killings attributed to President Rodrigo Duterte’s drug war campaign.
Bensouda also said ICC retained jurisdiction to prosecute the Duterte administration for any crimes against humanity committed before the Philippines withdrew from the international treaty that created the international court.
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