ICC case vs Duterte headed for garbage can — Lacson
The case filed at the International Criminal Court (ICC) against the President is “dustbin bound” if it would rely mainly on the testimony of confessed assassin Edgar Matobato, Senator Panfilo Lacson said on Tuesday.
Lacson is chair of the Senate committee on public order and dangerous drugs that conducted a joint investigation with the committee on justice and human rights on alleged extrajudicial killings in the country.
Matobato was among those who testified in the joint panel that later came up with a report that there was no proof that the killings were state-sponsored.
“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.
PRRD is the initials of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte while Sabio is Matobato’s lawyer, Jude Josue Sabio, who filed the crimes against humanity against Duterte and 11 others at the ICC for the “continuing mass murder” in the country.
“Therefore, it’s dustbin bound,” the senator said.
Lacson said getting the ICC to take jurisdiction over the case would also be a “tall order” for those behind the filing of the case as they have yet to satisfy at least two requirements.
“That the national courts, meaning our RTC’s and even the Supreme Court are unwilling or unable to prosecute those being charged, or 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, than 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.
Unlike some of his colleagues, who questioned the timing of the filing of the case, Lacson said he would give Sabio the benefit of the doubt why the filing came at a time the Philippines is hosting the Asean Summit this week.
“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.
“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 further said. CBB/rga
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