11 March 2017

News Story: Lawyer - Possible ICC case vs Duterte can be grounds for impeachment

By Patricia Lourdes Viray

MANILA, Philippines — The case to be filed before the International Criminal Court (ICC) can be an added basis for a possible impeachment complaint against President Rodrigo Duterte, a lawyer said.

Jude Sabio, legal counsel of self-confessed hitman Edgar Matobato, earlier confirmed that he is scheduled to file a case of crimes against humanity against the president for his supposed liability for the extrajudicial killings of drug offenders

In a telephone interview with philstar.com, Sabio said that the testimonies of Matobato and former SPO3 Arthur Lascañas would be enough to prove the existence of the so-called Davao Death Squad (DDS).

"As testified by Matobato, more than a thousand nameless persons were killed in Davao like chickens and this is also confirmed by Matobato so basically that will be the main thrust of the complaint. It's now easy to prove the pattern because we now have the testimony of Edgar Matobato and the corroborative testimony of Lascañas," Sabio told philstar.com

An ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda had earlier expressed concern over the fact that Philippine officials seem to condone alleged extrajudicial killings and seem to encourage the police and civilians to continue targeting drug suspects.

Bensouda said that extrajudicial killings may fall under the jurisdiction of the ICC if they are committed as a part of a widespread attack against a civilian population pursuant to a government policy.

"Let me be clear: any person in the Philippines who incites or engages in acts of mass violence including by ordering, requesting, encouraging or contributing, in any other manner, to the commission of crimes within the jurisdiction of the ICC is potentially liable to prosecution before the Court," Bensouda said in a statement released on Oct. 13, 2016.

Read the full story at PhilStar