Published April 25, 2017 12:31pm By KATHRINA CHARMAINE ALVAREZ, GMA News
For submitting a complaint based on testimonies of “polluted sources,” Senator Panfilo Lacson on Tuesday said the complaint filed with the International Criminal Court (ICC) against President Rodrigo Duterte is “dustbin bound.”
In a text message to reporters, Lacson said the complaint filed by lawyer Jude Sabio on Monday was “as good as without merit” as it used as witnesses, confessed hitmen Edgar Matobato and Arturo Lascañas. Sabio is the lawyer of Matobato.
“As the presiding chairman of the Senate investigation that heard Lascañas and Matobato's testimonies, if they are Atty. Sabio's main witnesses against PRRD et al, or worse, the only witnesses, being both polluted sources and a perjured witnesses at that, I am almost certain that the complaint is as good as without merit,” he said.
“Therefore, it's dustbin bound,” said Lacson, chairman of the Senate committee that conducted an investigation on the allegations of Matobato and Lascañas against Duterte.
Both Matobato and Lascañas testified before the Senate public order committee and claimed that Duterte was behind the killings of drug suspects and other criminals in Davao City.
Lacson thinks the filing of the ICC complaint was meant to “embarrass” President Duterte as the Philippines hosts the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit this year.
“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,” Lacson said.
Sabio accused Duterte of crimes against humanity over the alleged killings perpetrated by the so-called Davao Death Squad and the current administration’s war on drugs.
Lacson pointed out that the filing of the complaint should first meet at least two basic requirements, that the national courts are “unwilling or unable to prosecute” those accused, or when the United Nations Security Council or individual states refer the case/s to the ICC.
“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, then we can draw our conclusion from there,” Lacson said.
“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,” he added.
The office of ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda has earlier confirmed receiving the complaint filed by Sabio.
Bensouda's office confirmed to AFP it had "received a communication earlier this morning by an attorney from the Philippines," adding it would "analyze the materials submitted, as appropriate" in line with the tribunal's guiding Rome Statute and make its decision later. — MDM, GMA News