As we all know, Atty. Jude Sabio, legal counsel of self-confessed hitman Edgar Matobato, plans to file a case before the International Criminal Court (ICC) against President Rodrigo Duterte. This is in line with the president’s alleged involvement in the drug-related EJKs (extra-judicial killings) in the Philippines. But the question is, will the said case prosper?

In an interview with reporters this Friday, March 10, Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo said that the ICC case vs President Duterte will not prosper, simply because there is no basis for it, and no solid evidence linking the president to the EJK. Now, let’s review the criteria of the ICC itself for us to understand why this case is BS.

#5 President Duterte has been investigated in similar case, and was not prosecuted
According to the ICC rules, it will not proceed to the case if the person involved has been investigated for the same case by the State which has jurisdiction over it, and that person was not prosecuted. As we all know, Duterte came clean after then-CHR chair Leila de Lima investigated him when he was still the Davao City.mayor, and he came up clean.

#4 The ICC prosecutor can only investigate if the state is unable or unwilling to investigate
According to the ICC, its prosecutor should first prove the state under jurisdiction is “unable or unwilling to investigate” President Duterte before they can start a formal investigation against him. But as the entire world knows, there have been several Senate hearings on EJKs, and therefore proving that the state is able and willing to investigate him.

#3 Edgar Matabato and SPO3 Arthur Lascañas are not credible witnesses
Brighter than sunlight, so to speak, Matabato and SPO3 Arthur Lascañas are not credible witnesses. No need for the further explanation if you have followed the Senate hearings religiously. Besides the fact that their under-oath testimonies are not really collaborated with each other, the retired cop could be charged with perjury for lying in his first testimony.

#2 There is no proof that President Duterte killings of drug suspects
There is no proof that President Duterte has ordered the EJKs. On the contrary, some vigilantes were arrested as suspects for the killings. In addition, there were hired-killers who confessed to the media that they were paid by crook cops to kill drug suspects. Therefore, the drug syndicates themselves are very likely killing their members for obvious reasons.
#1 The accusation vs President Duterte is obviusly politically motivated
You don’t have to be a political analyst to understand that this case vs President Duterte is obviously politically motivated. Common sense tells us the Liberal Party (LP) is behind all of the accusations against him. We know that Senator Antonio Trillanes IV is an ally of LP, which has very rich supporters who can fund the activities to impeach President Duterte.

Not to mention, the ICC has its own share of controversies. There are recent accusations that ICC is bias against African countries. In fact, President Duterte once threatened to withdraw Philippines from the ICC. So yes, I think that the case is BS and will never prosper, logically and legally. Nevertheless, we all agree illegal drugs should be stopped.


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