MANILA - Magdalo Rep. Gary Alejano and lawyer Jude Sabio on Wednesday insisted that killing drug suspects and other criminals is a policy of President Rodrigo Duterte, contrary to his defense.
Alejano and Sabio, who both filed complaints against Duterte before the International Criminal Court, said they refuse to believe the President's statements Tuesday that he only told police to obey legal orders.
“If you are a President, anything that goes out of your mouth form part of the policy of the land,” Alejano said in a forum in Quezon City.
Sabio, meanwhile, said the statements of the President are purely “political.” He said there is strong evidence against him on his alleged involvement in extrajudicial killings both when he was still Davao City mayor and now as President.
In a speech at the oath-taking of newly appointed officials in Malacañang Tuesday, he said police "are told only to obey legal orders."
"... [W]hen I express myself, “I will kill you,” I am expressing a personal outrage. I never ordered anybody, not a single security guard even, na patayin mo ‘yan si si Mr. Santos, patayin mo si Mr. Cruz," Duterte said.
"Kasi galit ako. And besides, that warning will serve maybe as a deterrent. Or would you rather go ahead without a warning and kill all these idiots?" the President said.
Sabio said the ICC's decision to conduct a preliminary examination into the case filed against Duterte would eventually lead to the issuance of a warrant of arrest against the President.
“Sa tingin ko magkakaroon dito ng warrant of arrest, hindi lang summons, kailangan siya i-arrest dahil mayroong necessity to stop the killings,” Sabio said.
Lorenzo Gadon, the lawyer who filed the impeachment complaint against Chief Justice Sereno and was also present at the forum, took to the President's defense and said his statements do not prove that he is a murderer.
“Mahilig lang talaga siyang magyabang, mahilig talagang mag-ano braggadocio, sinabing patayin, it cannot be considered as an evidence that he is a murderer,” Gadon said.
Duterte is facing charges of crimes against humanity at the ICC for his alleged role in the slay of drug suspects under his drug war. Sabio first filed a complaint in April, while Alejano and Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV, also a staunch critic, filed a supplemental complaint in June.
The administration has many times asserted that it does not sanction summary killings or condone police abuses. Officials have explained that drug suspects slain in police operations had put up violent resistance.