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Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Panelo says complaint vs. Duterte at ICC will fail

Published April 24, 2017 6:07pm

A Malacañang official on Monday said he believes the complaint against President Rodrigo Duterte at the International Criminal Court (ICC) will not prosper as the administration’s campaign against illegal drugs is not a crime against humanity.

Chief presidential legal counsel Salvador Panelo told reporters in Malacañang that the complaint filed by lawyer Jude Sabio is baseless as the drug-related deaths were not state-sponsored.

Sabio is the legal counsel for Edgar Matabato, a self-confessed hit man from the Davao Death Squad.

“The complaint filed against the President by lawyer of Matobato is baseless. And not only that, I don’t think the International Criminal Court will have jurisdiction over it because if the crime charged is crime against humanity, I do not think that the war against the drugs as well as the criminals behind it would fall under crime against humanity,” he said.

“Also under the jurisdiction of the Criminal Court, the murder should be against a class of people and I do not think this will fall under it,” he added.

Panelo stressed that some of the deaths amid the war on drugs were not state-sponsored. He said drug syndicates could be killing each other.

“In the first place, it is not state-sponsored with respect to the alleged extrajudicial killings. The extrajudicial killings come up because of the members of the syndicates killing each other, the reason of the fact that there are thousands of surrenderers who are spilling the beans against their own comrades. Hence, those who are in danger of being prosecuted or arrested would necessarily silence those who are pointing their fingers at them,” he said.

He also called the complaint a black propaganda that the Filipinos would not believe anyway.

“Apparently, the intention is to [establish a] black propaganda against the President, hoping that media worldwide would catch on it and paint the President as a murderer when in fact he's only doing his constitutional duty to protect and preserve this country,” he said.

“But no matter, it will fail insofar as making the people believe in the validity of the charge,” he added.

“We're never worried on anything on the President because he's just doing his job and the Filipinos believe in him and the survey shows that,” Panelo said. — RSJ, GMA News


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