Thursday , May 24, 2018

Palace to Sabio: No reason to feel unsafe

MALACAÑANG on Monday, February 12, sees no reason for lawyer Jude Sabio to fear for his life after the International Criminal Court (ICC) decided to review his 77-page communication detailing President Rodrigo Duterte's alleged role in extrajudicial killings in the Philippines.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque Jr. said the government has no "ill will" against Sabio.

If he feels unsafe, Sabio should file a petition for a writ of amparo, Roque said.

"We don't put much importance to the complaint. We have no ill will against him (Sabio)," Roque told Palace reporters.

"Let's make sure that if there's a threat, he should report it to the police. If there's a threat, go file a (petition for a) writ of amparo. That's the remedy," he added.

The ICC has informed the government of its plan to conduct a preliminary examination of Sabio's communication, which gives emphasis to Duterte's purported "terrifying, gruesome, and disastrous continuing commission of extrajudicial executions or mass murder" in the country.

According to a news report, Sabio admitted Sunday, February 11, that he feels not secure following the ICC's decision to look into the Philippines' situation under Duterte's leadership.

Sabio is the legal counsel of self-confessed hitman Edgar Matobato, who accused Duterte of being the mastermind behind the summary executions of more than 1,000 criminals in Davao City when he was still the mayor.

Sabio informed the international court that Duterte is allegedly "repeatedly unchangingly, and continuously" linked to the deaths of thousands of people in the country.

Roque reiterated his confidence that the preliminary examination would not prosper into a preliminary investigation against Duterte.

He also noted that it would take some time for the ICC to take an initial review on Sabio's communication, citing the number of years the international court has spent on the alleged crimes committed in Colombia.

Roque was referring to ICC's ongoing preliminary examination of Colombia's situation. Colombia has been under initial assessment since June 2004 after the ICC's Office of the Prosecutor receivedd numerous communications, which exposed the alleged crimes against humanity and war crimes.

"We don't feel threatened by the complaint. We know it will not proceed beyond preliminary examination," he said.

"Good luck. Colombia has been under preliminary eximination for 13 years," Roque added.

On February 9, Duterte expressed his intent to meet ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda but stressed that he was unfazed by the move to conduct an initial examination against him. (SunStar Philippines)