De Lima denies being ‘behind’ Sabio’s ICC complaint
MANILA, Philippines — Senator Leila de Lima on Saturday denied that she directed lawyer Jude Sabio to file charges of crimes against humanity against President Rodrigo Duterte before the International Criminal Court (ICC).
In a statement, the detained opposition senator said that while she was not “behind” it, she was aware.
And feeling that Sabio’s complaint “needs enhancement,” De Lima revealed that she filed her own complaint before the ICC in October 2017.
“That is why I submitted my own Communication to the ICC in October 2017 – four months before ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda announced the start of a preliminary examination on the Philippine situation – to complement Sabio’s, former [Senator Antonio Trillanes’], and former [Congressman Gary Alejano]’s Communications.”
“All of these Communications were considered by Prosecutor Bensouda when she announced the start of the preliminary examination on the Philippine situation on February 2018,” De Lima added.
“That is why the withdrawal of one, or even of all these communications, will not stop the ICC process as there are several other communications filed by other individuals and groups, and information gathered by the ICC, that were considered as basis for the preliminary examination.”
De Lima’s statement comes after Sabio said that she and Trillanes directed him to lodge the complaint against Duterte before the ICC.
Sabio earlier withdrew his complaint, saying that it was just “part of the political propaganda” by the opposition led by the Liberal Party, which De Lima is a member.
The senator, likewise, denied that she was also behind the case filed before the Ombudsman by Sabio’s former client, Edgar Matobato, against Duterte in 2016.
De Lima added that she only “encouraged and helped” Matobato to file the charges.
“I don’t know what Jude Sabio hopes to achieve with his supposed ‘revelation’, but everybody already knows I was the one who presented Matobato to testify before the Senate Justice and Human Rights Committee,” De Lima added.
“And only rightly so, for Matobato showed the whole world the kind of demon our country is dealing with. Filing murder charges against that devil is only the logical consequence of his Senate testimony.”
De Lima also posed this “point-blank” question to Sabio: “Does your ‘revelation’ mean that Matobato is not telling the truth? Or that your appreciation of the truth is dependent on your personal issues or circumstances, such as dire financial need?”
Edited by JPV
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