Duterte: If I go to prison, so be it

Dharel Placido, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 13 2017 11:06 PM | Updated as of Mar 14 2017 12:12 AM

MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday reacted to the plan of self-confessed Davao Death Squad Edgar Matobato to hail him to an international court over his alleged misdeeds as Davao City mayor.

Matobato’s lawyer Jude Sabio said he is preparing the cases against Duterte to be filed at the International Criminal Court (ICC). 

Sabio had said he will fly to The Netherlands this year to file cases of “crimes against humanity” against the President.

Asked to react on the matter, Duterte initially tried to deflect the question by cracking a joke. When pressed by the media, the President answered: “I said, I will do what I say in public. I’m ready to face the consequences. If I go to prison, so be it. Iyan talaga ang buhay ko.”

Salvador Panelo, Duterte’s chief legal counsel, said Matobato’s plan to sue Duterte before the ICC has no basis and dismissed the former hitman’s statements as mere propaganda.

“Definitely no basis. Ano propaganda lang iyun as usual. Baka nga hindi entertainin yun eh…Walang basis eh. Siyempre pag nag-file ka kailangan may dokumento ka, may pruweba ka (It might even be snubbed. There is no basis. If you have to file a case, you must have documents, proof to back you up),” Panelo said.

Matobato has linked Duterte to the alleged Davao Death Squad, which was supposedly responsible for alleged extrajudicial killings in Davao City.

Duterte has repeatedly denied links to the Davao Death Squad.

In past speeches, Duterte said, as mayor, he only ordered the policemen in Davao City to kill suspects who will put their lives in danger.

The president recently branded allegations that he ran a death squad during his more than 20-year reign as mayor as “all lies,” after another self-confessed DDS hitman, Arturo Lascañas, recanted his denial about the existence of the squad.