Matobato, Trillanes, De Lima Plans to Confront Duterte in International Court

Hardline opponents of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte keep finding ways to bring the president down.

Self-confessed killer Eduardo “Edgar” B. Matobato is looking into filing charges against President Rodrigo R. Duterte for crimes against humanity before the International Criminal Court (ICC) for the alleged “widespread and systematic murder” committed by the leader, his legal counsel said on Monday.

Jude Josue L. Sabio, representing Mr. Matobato, said in a text message that his client intends to make the case, but there is “no definite timetable yet.”

Mr. Sabio pointed out that “in the ICC, the President is not immune from suit.”

Under Philippine law, the President is immune from suit while in office.

At a Senate inquiry on alleged extrajudicial killings in the administration’s ongoing war against illegal drugs, Mr. Matobato, who claimed to be part of the so-called Davao Death Squad, linked Mr. Duterte to the killings in Davao City during his stint as mayor over a two-decade period.

The confessed assassin said he had killed over a thousand, dumping their bodies at sea or burying them at a quarry.

“[The case is a] crime against humanity dahil (because) murder, when committed in a systematic and widespread [manner],” Mr. Sabio said.

“We are still working on the possible complaint; this will be looked into very seriously,” he added.

Sought for comment, Presidential Communications Office (PCO) Secretary Martin M. Andanar said: “I defer [the question] to the SoJ (Secretary of Justice).”

For his part, Justice Secretary Vitaliano N. Aguirre II brushed aside the possible lawsuit, saying in a text message that it “would be thrown into the waste basket.”

Mr. Matobato is currently facing charges for illegal possession of firearms in Davao City and an attempted murder case in Digos City, Davao del Sur.

Matobato claimed that he finished only Grade 1 but many are wondering how he is going to bring the case to ICC when he lacks resources.

Many believe that his plan will not be materialized without the help of his protectors, Sens. De Lima and Trillanes.

Law experts says however that the case will be junked by ICC as the latter is already dealing with a lot of bigger problems from other countries. /Source: Bworldonline, Kathy Sanchez/

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