Alejano welcomes complaint vs Duterte before ICC
An opposition lawmaker who sought the impeachment of President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday welcomed the filing of a complaint before the International Criminal Court (ICC) in the Hague against the Chief Executive, and said this could signal the way to hold him accountable for his brutal war on drugs.
In a statement, Magdalo Rep. Gary Alejano said he respected the decision of Atty. Jude Sabio, counsel of confessed Davao Death Squad hitman Edgar Matobato, to take to the ICC Duterte’s alleged involvement in extrajudicial killings, which was also the main crux of Alejano’s impeachment complaint against the President.
“I respect the action of Atty. Sabio to file a case of crime against humanity committed by President Duterte before the ICC. This is the same issue and one of the basis embodied in the impeachment complaint I filed against Duterte last March 16,” Alejano said.
Alejano said the complaint before the ICC is an opportunity for Congress to show it is not partial to the President.
“This is an opportunity for Congress to show to the world that it is independent from the influence of the President and prove that it is able and willing to make him accountable of crimes he has committed to the Filipino people,” Alejano said.
In his 77-page complaint, Sabio cited the “continuing mass murder” in the Philippines due to the thousands of Filipinos killed in Duterte’s anti-drug campaign that started when he was Davao city mayor and continues now that he is President.
“Your favorable action on this matter would not only serve the noble ends of international criminal justice, but would also be the beginning of the end of this dark, obscene, murderous and evil era in the Philippines,” Sabio said.
Sabio said the 7,000 drug-related killings in the Philippines in the past seven months have surpassed the 3,000 killings during the two-decade martial law regime of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos.
The police have contested the 7,000 figure, noting that only around 2,600 drug pushers and users were killed in legitimate police operations.
Sabio’s client Matobato has testified in a Senate inquiry about Duterte’s alleged order for the vigilante group Davao Death Squad to kill drug criminals in Davao city.
Also included in the complaint are Duterte’s closest allies – Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre, Philippine National Police chief Ronald Dela Rosa, Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, Senators Richard Gordon and Alan Peter Cayetano, Solicitor General Jose Calida, and former Interior secretary Ismael Sueno, among others. IDL/rga
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.